Last night, The City Council Minority of Councilwoman Castellano, Councilwoman Mason, Councilman Occhipinti, and Councilman Russo failed to generate the 6th vote needed to support a bond to put a plan in place to redesign critical roads in Hoboken including Washington Street and Observer Highway. Here is the recap of last night’s City Council meeting from the City of Hoboken…
HOBOKEN CITY COUNCIL MEETING RECAP:
PARKS PROGRESS, STREETSCAPE SETBACKS
Setback for all streets improvements. The Council voted 5 to 4 for the redesign of Washington Street, Sinatra Drive, Observer Highway and Newark Street; however six votes were needed to approve the bond. Council Members in opposition, Councilwoman Castellano, Councilwoman Mason, Councilman Occhipinti, and Councilman Russo, expressed concerns about the City taking on new debt in terms of its impact on the City’s bonding capacity. In fact, the City has excellent capacity for bonding and has used well below 1/3 of its $360 million bonding capacity.
“Bonding is the fiscally prudent and fair way to pay for long-lasting improvements to our neglected infrastructure,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Residents today shouldn’t bear the full cost for benefits that future residents will reap from these investments. We’re seeing progress on parks because the Council approved bonding for those improvements. But just like our parks, our streets, waterfront, garages, police headquarters, and other infrastructure have been neglected for too long.”
Next Steps: The City thanks all who supported and advocated for these measures. The streets improvements will be reintroduced separately and the Administration will continue to work to help the Council and public understand the importance of these infrastructure investments to safety, quality of life, and economic development, as well as why bonding is the fiscally responsible way to make these investments.
Southwest Park purchase moves forward. The Council approved payment for land for a Southwest Park in Block 12 which is bounded by Harrison Street, Jackson Street, Observer Highway and Paterson Avenue. The $2.35 million comes from a Hudson County Open Space grant. The final purchase price will be decided by a court.
Church Square Park renovations approved. The Council unanimously approved Phase 1 of improvements to Church Square Park, which will be paid for through a bond approved last year. This work will include renovations to two playground areas, the basketball courts, and the restroom. To view the plan, visit www.hobokennj.org/churchsquarepark. The City will be going out to bid for construction shortly. Future phases will be completed as additional funding is secured.
1600 Park plans approved. Yesterday evening, The Hudson County Planning Board approved the City’s plans for 1600 Park. To view the plan, visit www.hobokennj.org/1600park. The City will now be completing bid specifications and going out to bid for construction shortly. The City is coordinating with the County and thanks them for moving ahead with the installation of a traffic signal at 16th Street and Park Avenue this fall.