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July, 2017

Mayor Zimmer Announces Resiliency & Sustainability Team

Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced today that she has appointed Caleb Stratton as Chief Resiliency Officer and Jennifer Gonzalez as Chief Sustainability Officer. As co-leaders of the City’s Resiliency and Sustainability efforts, they will work with an inter-departmental team including Business Administrator Stephen Marks, Directors Brandy Forbes and Leo Pellegrini, Zoning Officer and Floodplain Manager Ann Holtzman, Transportation Principal Planner Ryan Sharp, and Community Development Principal Planner Chris Brown.

“Resiliency and Sustainability go hand-in-hand,” said Mayor Zimmer. “A sustainable and resilient Hoboken will be an environmentally, socially, and economically healthy community that allows future generations of residents to meet and exceed our quality of life.”

The team is advancing resiliency and sustainability initiatives in 9 priority areas. Highlighted projects include:

  • Urban Coastal Flooding: $230 million federally-funded Rebuild by Design comprehensive flood mitigation plan
  • Rainfall Flooding: $90 million investment to date by the City and other partners in stormwater management projects, including a second flood pump, 3 resiliency parks capable of storing more than 1.5 million gallons of stormwater, the City Hall green infrastructure project, and 19 bioswales on Washington Street and First Street; and a summer green jobs training program for youth and low-income residents to maintain green infrastructure
  • Energy and Communications: $300 million for the elevation and hardening of PSE&G electrical substations; a parallel electrical microgrid for critical facilities; elevated backup generators at critical first responder facilities; Smart City kiosks with free public wifi to create a resilient communications network; and the Hoboken Solar Challenge (hobokensolar.org)
  • Drinking Water: $12 million investment in water infrastructure upgrades on Washington Street and priority areas citywide; and $31 million in additional capital investments to upgrade the drinking water system through a proposed renegotiated water service contract
  • Transportation & Parking: Incorporation of green streets (rain gardens, bioswales, porous paving, etc) and complete streets (pedestrian, bicycle, and transit improvements)  principles as part of roadway resurfacing projects to encourage walking and bicycling; improved Hop shuttle service; city-wide car sharing and bicycle sharing programs
  • Land Use & Green Building Design: More than 100,000 square feet of new green roofs in 2 years due to zoning incentives; requirements for LEED construction and other low-impact development practices in all redevelopment plans; and Resilient Buildings Design Guidelines that provide flood protection guidance to property owners
  • Natural Resources: 11 acres of new open space; expansion of tree planting and maintenance program including volunteer cleanup efforts in City parks; 34 new community garden plots and more planned
  • Waste Management: 58 BigBelly solar compacting trash and recycling bins; residential composting program, communitycompostco.com; and planning a commercial composting pilot program
  • Hazard Mitigation and Emergency Management: Ongoing updates to the Emergency Operations Plan, Hazard Mitigation Plan, Continuity of Operations Plan and day to day coordination with Hoboken Police, Fire, and Office of Emergency Management

Mayor Zimmer invites residents to Northwest “Pop-Up” Park Grand Opening

Mayor Dawn Zimmer invites members of the public to the grand opening of the Northwest “pop-up” Park on Monday, July 31 beginning at 3 pm. The grand opening includes activities for children, free fitness classes for adults, a performance by Garden Street School of the Performing Arts, and food trucks.

“I’m thrilled to open our pop-up park and provide this additional recreation space for our community,” said Mayor Zimmer. “The park includes fun amenities for residents of all ages to enjoy while we begin the planning process for the permanent park. I invite everyone to join us to celebrate at Monday’s grand opening.”

Late last year, the City of Hoboken acquired the former 6.1 acre BASF property in northwest Hoboken for use as a “resiliency park” that will provide open space and help to address flooding from heavy rain. The pop-up park is a temporary public space at this location that includes basketball, tennis, and bocce ball courts, a community garden, playground, rock climbing wall, spray feature, shaded picnic areas, seating areas, track with fitness equipment, and more.

The pop-up park will have a soft opening to the public starting Tuesday, July 25 and will remain open daily from 8 am to dusk. The park will remain in operation until construction begins on the permanent “resiliency park.” The planning process for the permanent 5.4 acre park, which would be the city’s largest park, is anticipated to start later this year.

Activities for Children:

3:10pm: Oakie Dokie Clown – magic, balloon animals, circus comedy, parachute dancing and more

3:50pm: Garden St. School of Performing Arts

4:30pm: Songs for Seeds: A Rockin’ Kids’ Music Class (Winner of Little Hoboken Awards and New York Magazine-Best Music Class!)

Fitness classes

5:00pm: Jane DO – “Train Jane” – a total body workout that fuses classical dance and traditional athletic conditioning. Strength training is coupled with high and low impact cardio elements and HIIT to promote long, lean musculature.

5:40pm: BodySoul and Pole – Pole Fitness demo, a full body workout with resistance and cardio training

6:30pm: Club Pilates Hoboken will hold an express mat class

Food trucks will be along Madison Street next to the pop-up park including Falafull, Thai Elephant, Thai’m Ice Cream and Boöza organic ice cream.

Hoboken Police and Stevens Police to Host Annual Night Out Against Crime Event in Church Square Park


On Tuesday, August 1, 2017, The Hoboken Police Department and Stevens Police Department will be hosting “National Night Out in Hoboken.” National Night Out, also known as “America’s Night Out Against Crime,” is an annual, nationwide event that allows the community workers to give back to their community. The annual event will take place in Hoboken’s centrally located Church Square Park (4th St & Garden St), where a large slate of family and youth-oriented activities is scheduled to take place from 5pm until 9pm.

The Hoboken Police Department’s new Emergency Services Truck will be on display and Disney princesses will be making a visit to take pictures with everyone in attendance. The event will include bounce houses, water slides, and other entertainment for children, a photo booth, free food, and giveaways throughout the night. The Callahans Hot Dog truck which will be giving out hot dogs and Birch Restaurant will be giving out free milkshakes. Giveaways include baseball tickets, gift cards, and autographed sports memorabilia. Free child car seat inspections will be conducted from inside the parking lot of the A J Demarest School (158 4th Street). People of all ages are encouraged to attend.

National Night Out is designed to: (1) Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; (2) Generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime efforts; (3) Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and (4) Send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

In addition to the participation of various police agencies, several local businesses will be out in full support of this night out against crime.

The National Night Out event is celebrated by over 37 million participants and over 16,000 communities across the United States.

For further information or to set up a table or make a donation for the event please contact Sergeant Melissa Gigante at gigantem@hobokenpd.org or visit our website, www.Hobokenpd.com.

The HPD and SPD hope you can come out and help us fight against crime!

Hoboken Awarded $451,000 Grant for Newark Street Safety Improvement Project

The City of Hoboken has been awarded a $451,000 Transportation Alternatives Program grant for the Newark Street safety improvement project.

In addition to a new All-Way Stop sign recently installed at Grand Street, the project includes curb extensions at corners to reduce pedestrian crossing distances and vehicle turning speeds and enhance visibility at conflict points, the addition of loading zones to accommodate deliveries, additional crosswalks including a mid-block crosswalk with a pedestrian refuge island between Jefferson Street and Adams Street, a physically separated eastbound bike lane along the south side of the street, and Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon (RRFB) signs to enhance the frequency of drivers stopping for pedestrians at crosswalks.

Thank you to the NJDOT and the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority and all of the residents and community groups who wrote letters of support for the grant application.

The full concept plan can be viewed at: http://www.hobokennj.gov/docs/transportation/Newark-Street-Concept-Plan.pdf.

Mayor Zimmer Announces New Suez Water Agreement With Over $40 Million Benefit to Hoboken

Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced that her Administration and Suez Water have agreed on the terms of a renegotiated water service contract that would provide more than $31 million in infrastructure investments and a total of over $40 million in benefits to the City of Hoboken through 2034. The agreement requires City Council approval.

“Our aging water system is in need of expensive capital upgrades, yet the $350,000 provided annually by our existing water agreement from 1994 is not even enough for emergency repairs,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I am thrilled that our proposed agreement would provide on average over $1.8 million per year for capital investments. The City has already begun the process to invest $12 million in water main improvements, and this agreement will allow us to make the investments we need to modernize our water system.”

In addition to the investment capital for water main upgrades, the renegotiated agreement will forgive $10 million owed by the City to Suez under the terms of the existing agreement for excess repair and bulk water costs. The agreement would extend the contract from 2024 to 2034.

If the new agreement is not approved, the City will remain under the terms of the existing agreement, which ends in 2024. Under those terms, Suez will be required to make only $350,000 per year in emergency repairs for the next 7 years, while the City of Hoboken would continue to be responsible for all repair costs over $350,000 annually. The City would receive no funds for the needed modernization of the water main system. In addition, the City would be responsible for the approximately $10 million that would be forgiven in the renegotiated agreement for excess bulk water and repair costs.

A memorandum of understanding agreement is expected to be presented to the City Council for its approval at the August 2nd City Council meeting.

Update on City Council Meeting: PSE&G Substation Resiliency Upgrades, Free Gigabit Public Wi-Fi & Rebuild by Design

Several significant items will be considered at the City Council meeting scheduled for this evening:

  1. PSE&G Substation Resiliency Upgrades – A resolution to approve a Redevelopment Agreement with PSE&G would advance a $170 million project to ensure that Hoboken has the most modern, resilient, and reliable energy distribution system into the future. The project will consolidate the Marshall Street and Madison Street substations into one station at the Madison Street site, would elevate the station to protect it from flooding, and make upgrades to improve the reliability of the distribution system.
  2. Free Gigabit Public Wi-Fi – Two resolutions on the agenda would award contracts to Intersection (a subsidiary of Google spinoff Sidewalk Labs) and Verizon, subject to final negotiation of terms, for the installation of digital kiosks as part of Hoboken’s Smart City Initiative. The kiosks would provide free phone and video calls, USB charging, wayfinding and local business and civic information, and free high-speed gigabit public Wi-Fi at no cost to the City.
  3. Rebuild by Design – A resolution to enter into an agreement with the NJ Department of Community Affairs (DCA) would give the City of Hoboken a stronger voice and greater input in the process of protecting historic buildings and resources within Hoboken as the Rebuild by Design process continues. The DCA has invited Hoboken, Weehawken, and Jersey City to be signatories to the agreement.

Update on Neumann Leathers Redevelopment Plan

At Wednesday night’s City Council Subcommittee meeting on the Neumann Leathers Rehabilitation Area, Subcommittee members reached consensus on an architectural design solution for the project that would not require a significant amendment to the Neumann Leathers Redevelopment Plan. The Subcommittee will be making its recommendation to the full Council during new business at the July 5th City Council meeting.

City Council Subcommittee members, including Chair Dave Mello, Councilman Doyle, Councilman Defusco, and Councilman Ramos met to discuss a series of concepts for the redevelopment of the Neumann Leathers Rehabilitation Area, and the comments received by local residents and businesses that expressed their concerns and preferences with regards to the concepts.  At issue for the Subcommittee was whether the City should consider a substantial amendment to the Neumann Leathers Redevelopment Plan that would allow some residential development to be located on the easterly portion of the site, whereas the Redevelopment Plan requires that all residential be located along the westerly side of the site, separated from the industrial arts uses. The prospective redeveloper (and property owner) of the subject Neumann Leathers properties is working with local architect, John Nastasi of Nastasi Architects, who prepared the development concepts now under consideration.  The property owner, Mr. Nastasi and counsel attended the Subcommittee meeting, as well.

At the meeting, Mr. Nastasi presented an alternative that would make some architectural changes to the design of the “Revision 3” concept. The changes would keep the residential building entirely on the westerly side of the site, as required by the Redevelopment Plan, but would “re-shape” and narrow the upper stories of this building in order to minimize the visual impact to the residents at the adjacent 415 Newark Street building, and to open up the eastward view corridor.

Subcommittee members were pleased with this consensus concept and feel that it can help address the neighbors’ concerns, while keeping intact the intent of the Redevelopment Plan to maintain historic buildings, provide public plaza/courtyard space, and retain the light industrial uses. The consensus concept changes to Revision 3 proposed by Mr. Nastasi are included below and will be shared by the Subcommittee Chair David Mello during new business at the July 5th City Council meeting.

The Administration and Subcommittee would like to thank everyone who took the time to voice their concerns, which greatly assisted in reaching this consensus concept.

Background:

In a presentation given by City Planning staff at the previous City Council meeting on June 21st, a number of Nastasi’s concepts were shown to the public and the entire City Council.   The concepts were narrowed down to the three (3) scenarios that would not demolish any of the existing Neumann Leathers buildings that the Redevelopment Plan requires to be retained and rehabilitated.  Preserving these historic buildings, and allowing the successful continuation of the industrial arts uses within them, are two major goals of the Redevelopment Plan, and are top priorities for the Administration.  After the presentation, Hoboken citizens were asked to email the Subcommittee members with their comments and preferences for the three concepts.

Hoboken Public Library Newsletter for July

The Hoboken Public Library newsletter for July, 2017 is now available.