Monday, October 3, 2016

Hoboken announces agreement of six acre purchase with BASF

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Monday October 3, 2016

City of Hoboken

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Community: Hoboken Reaches Agreement With BASF to Purchase 6 Acre Property for Hoboken's Largest Park

Dear Horsey & MSV readers,

The City of Hoboken has reached an agreement with BASF to purchase their 6.1 acre property in northwest Hoboken for $30 million which will be presented to the Council for approval. The City intends to use the property to create a 5.4 acre “resiliency park” along with an above-ground parking garage on a smaller adjacent lot.

The new park, to be designed with at least 1 million gallons of underground stormwater detention to help alleviate local flooding, would be the largest park in Hoboken. Currently, Hoboken’s largest park is Pier A with an area of 4.8 acres.

“This project is the latest example of my commitment to providing quality park space for every neighborhood,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “While in the last 20 years, almost all of Hoboken’s major new parks have been built along our waterfront, the western side of our city still has very little open space. Along with the southwest park under construction and the new park at 7th and Jackson to be built soon, I am extremely pleased that we are on track to create three new major resiliency parks in western Hoboken that will also help to alleviate flooding.”

As part of securing a low-interest loan from the State, the City will hold a public hearing on Thursday, October 6, 2016 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Multi Service Center (124 Grand Street) to hear the community’s input on the land acquisition. Residents are invited to attend and provide their input on the purchase of the land for a resiliency park.

On Wednesday, October 5th, the City Council will consider three ordinances related to the purchase of the property. One ordinance would authorize the mayor to sign the agreement that the administration has negotiated with BASF and has presented to the Council for the acquisition of the property and a down payment of $3 million. Two other bond ordinances for $19.5 million and $2.65 million to supplement a prior bond ordinance would be used to acquire the property for the park and parking garage, respectively.

A design has not yet been determined for the park. A full community-based public planning process will take place to develop plans for the park once the property has been acquired. The intent is to design a park with a mix of active and passive recreational space with green infrastructure and an underground detention system to hold at least 1 million gallons of stormwater to help reduce localized flooding. The City is also partnering with North Hudson Sewerage Authority to separate the sewer system in the area around the park and to channel stormwater runoff to the new underground detention system and out to the Hudson River.

BoE: The Prelim for the citywide takeover

The Hoboken Board of Education election race is beginning to heat up as gears ramp up among two slates for this November with an eye poised on 2017.

The race of local import coupled with the sizable presidential election is the three seats on the nine member Board of Elections.

The BoE race is viewed by local political observers as the prelim to City Hall elections next year and for good reason. The two elections almost always mirror the strengths and weaknesses of its two main rivals.

Last year, the Board of Education reform oriented slate Reach Higher appeared to have swept their opponents until the late surge of Vote-by-Mail on election night overtook two of their three candidates.

The current balance of powers in a 6-3 alignment means the three seats this November are pivotal to who will have oversight over an almost $70 million BoE budget for the growing school district.

The Old Guard Nazi Truck seen here in 2012 in one of its many trips through Hoboken attacking the reform movement with use of a Nazi flag in a looping attack video. 2012 is the last presidential campaign and will see the biggest parallel to this year's BoE race in both interest and turnout.

With one eye cast to 2017 and the mayoral election, this year's BoE election most closely mirrors the 2012 race, the last presidential year. That election saw the controversial appearances of the Move Forward Old Guard slate's less than secret weapon: The Nazi Truck.

Before the Nazi Truck's last appearance showing an ad for the Move Forward slate, it patrolled Washington St. and parked in front of the BoE and City Hall before government meetings looping a controversial video attacking BoE trustees, council members, Mayor Zimmer, this editor and Grafix Avenger with a prominent Nazi flag flying in full color.

The ensuing controversy would gain national attention and left a stain on all involved and its hidden sponsors being hosted at the Mason Civic "charity" office uptown where the Move Forward campaign was headquartered. The gory details were eventually revealed in a feature story here when the truck owner went on the record describing his unhappiness in having any involvement.

The Old Guard is looking to avoid that disaster with three new faces to vie against a ticket of incumbents Jennifer Evans, Irene Sobolov and second time candidate Sheillah Dallara.

Their upstart opposition is already looking to get over the top taking issue with the years long running suit involving the HoLa Charter school expansion.

The rest of this story is MSV premium and will go out today to members via email.

Mayor Zimmer mourns loss of Hoboken resident Fabiola Bittar de Kroon, thanks first responders and volunteers

Dear MSV readers:

On Thursday, our City was faced with a disaster that tragically took the life of one of our own residents and injured many more. Our hearts go out to the loved ones and friends of Fabiola Bittar de Kroon, who lost her life far too early. Our thoughts and prayers remain with those who suffered injuries, some of them critical, and we wish them a speedy recovery.

Although Hoboken experienced one of its darkest days, I could not have been more proud of our first responders including the Hoboken Police and Fire Departments. Thanks to their timely response to the emergency, HPD and HFD were able to safely remove survivors from the wreckage. Thank you also to the Office of Emergency Management, Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps, City staff, CERT volunteers, NJ Transit, Port Authority, CarePoint and all outside agencies who provided mutual aid and for coordinating on the response efforts.

We take comfort in knowing that our community has good Samaritans, many of whom immediately assisted the injured after the crash. It was inspiring to hear of the selfless actions of so many, including fellow commuters who carried a pregnant woman through a train window to safety. Or the story recounted to me by one of the victims in the hospital of how he was cared for by a complete stranger in the terminal who stayed with him and alerted his family members of his condition until he was safely in the ambulance.

Thank you also to all residents and businesses who donated their time, resources and goods to our first responders throughout the day. And while a large amount of additional volunteers were not needed on the scene, it was comforting to hear from countless residents who were ready to help. Our City is strong because of the resilience of our residents, and nowhere was this better demonstrated than during yesterday’s tragedy.


Dawn Zimmer