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February, 2018

Special Council Meeting to be Held Wednesday to Consider Acquisition of Union Dry Dock


Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla has called for a special meeting of the Hoboken City Council on Wednesday, February 28th to consider authorizing the acquisition of the former Union Dry Dock property for the purpose of completing the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway within Hoboken and for public open space and recreation. The meeting will begin with a closed session at 6:30pm in City Council chambers.

The City hired an appraiser which determined that the property has a value of $11,630,000. The Council will consider an ordinance on first reading to authorize the acquisition of the property through a negotiated purchase in the amount not to exceed $11,630,000 or by condemnation if a negotiated purchase can not be effectuated.

“Our community’s decades-long vision for a continuous, public waterfront park is finally within reach,” said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. “I thank all of the elected officials and advocates who have put so much time and energy into protecting our waterfront and look forward to completing the transformation of our formerly industrial waterfront into a world-class park system.”

Hoboken ABC Board Issues Suspensions For Liquor License Violations

The City of Hoboken Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Board held their regular bi-weekly meeting on Thursday, February 22nd to consider various charges against 11 Hoboken liquor licensees.  All of the ABC charges scheduled were adjudicated and include the complete shutdown of five establishments on the privately-organized LepreCon event.  They are as follows:

  • 1 Republik: Closed on March 3, 2018 and shall close on May 21, 2018 for a 30-day suspension. After the 30-day suspension, the establishment shall permanently close pending transfer/sale of the license to new ownership.
  • Hoboken Bar and Grill: 30-day suspension to begin immediately (February 23, 2018).
  • Green Rock Tap and Grill: 20-day suspension, one day of which is March 3, 2018.
  • Mill’s Tavern: 24-day suspension which includes being closed March 3, 2018.
  • The Shannon: two-day suspension to be served March 3 and March 4, 2018.

Six other establishments agreed to settlements as well, but received lesser penalties.

“This represents a major accomplishment in fulfilling my commitment on Inauguration Day to address this public safety nuisance,” said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. “The vast majority of bar owners are responsible license holders, but a very small number of establishments have failed to adequately control their patrons and the activities within their premises, leading to severe public safety issues. The discipline agreed to by the owners is appropriate and I hope will lead to an understanding that public safety is a top priority and that the ABC board will not hesitate to enforce the liquor license regulations.”

Additionally, the State of New Jersey Attorney General’s Division of Alcohol Beverage Control has agreed to send 12 to 14 State ABC detectives to Hoboken on March 3, 2018. Along with Hoboken Police ABC detectives, they will be monitoring establishments to ensure compliance with all ABC regulations, including not admitting underage guests, not overserving patrons, not exceeding capacity, and other health and security regulations.

“I am extremely thankful to New Jersey Office of the Attorney General and its ABC Division Director David P. Rible for his partnership in protecting the public safety and quality of life of our community,” added Mayor Bhalla.

Hoboken Awarded $1 Million in Transportation Grant Funding

The New Jersey Department of Transportation announced this week that the City of Hoboken will receive over $1 million in Municipal Aid grant funding – more than double the amount typically awarded annually.

“This tremendous increase in funding will help us implement important pedestrian safety improvements, road repairs, and other important transportation-related projects,” said Mayor Bhalla. “I thank Governor Murphy for his support and for understanding the importance of maintaining and improving our infrastructure.”

The City of Hoboken was awarded a total of $1,032,700.00 in Municipal Aid for FY2018.

“Improving our transportation infrastructure is one of my top priorities, because a robust, reliable, and efficient transportation system is the backbone of our economy,” added Mayor Bhalla. “I look forward to working with Governor Murphy, our State elected officials, and transportation agencies to renovate the Hoboken Terminal, improve bus and rail service, and provide subsidized ferry fares for commuters.”

Hoboken Police Department Investigates Security Breach In City Hall

The Hoboken Police Department is investigating an incident that occurred at the Mayor’s Office on Thursday night.

A male individual entered City Hall through the Newark Street entrance just before 8:00pm on Thursday, February 15th, 2018. The person went through metal detectors and told security officers that he was going to use the restroom.

At the time, the only person in the Mayor’s Office was Deputy Chief of Staff Jason Freeman. Mayor Bhalla was on his way to the office following a community meeting. From his office, Mr. Freeman observed that a bag with an object had been thrown in the direction of the administrative assistant’s desk and made eye contact with the individual. The individual then ran out of the Mayor’s Office. Mr. Freeman called the police, which are currently investigating the incident.

“This incident, along with death threats to me and my family, is an unfortunate reminder that we need to take security seriously,” said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. “The Joint Terrorism Task Force has evaluated City Hall, and we have been working to implement their recommendations for physical and procedural changes to improve security for all employees in the building.”

“We take incidents like these incredibly seriously and will continue working to ensure the security of the mayor and everyone who visits City Hall,” said Hoboken Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante.

Madison Park Renovation Concept Design Finalized


The City of Hoboken hosted a public hearing on February 15, 2018 to present final plans for renovations to Madison Park. Click here to download and view the final conceptual plan.

The final plan is based on input received from a previous community meeting and public survey. Click here to view a summary of survey responses.

Standard & Poor’s Affirms Hoboken’s AA+ Credit Rating

Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings has assigned its AA+ long-term rating to the City of Hoboken, the rating agency’s second-highest rating. S&P cited Hoboken’s “very strong economy,” “strong budgetary performance,” “very strong budgetary flexibility,” and “very strong liquidity.”

“A strong credit rating and sound financials form the foundation of a healthy government that can be responsive to the needs of the community,” said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. “I’m committed to being Hoboken’s infrastructure mayor, and our high credit rating will allow us to make the investments we need while being responsible with taxpayers’ money. I thank everyone that worked hard to ensure we have a fiscally responsible budget.”

This rating represents a continuation of Hoboken’s economic turnaround since 2008, when Moody’s issued a Baa3 rating (the S&P equivalent of BBB-), one notch above junk bond status, to hospital bonds guaranteed by the City of Hoboken. Moody’s cited the City’s “significant deferred charges, annual cash flow borrowing, and a history of financial mismanagement.” That same year, the State of New Jersey appointed a fiscal monitor to take over management of the City.

Public Meeting To Be Held February 27 for Northwest Resiliency Park

The design team for the Northwest Resiliency Park has completed a report summarizing the information gathering and community input phase of the project. The report can be viewed at: www.hobokennj.gov/nwparkreport

Based on this information, the team is completing two preliminary concepts for the Northwest Resiliency Park. The concepts will be presented at a public meeting scheduled for Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 7:00pm at the Wallace School Cafeteria located at 1100 Willow Avenue. The entrance to the cafeteria is located behind the playground, along 11th Street mid-block between Willow Avenue and Clinton Street.

After collecting community feedback on the two preliminary concepts, the team will create a final preferred concept for the park, which will be presented at a subsequent public meeting.

For more information on the Northwest Resiliency Park Design Process, visit www.hobokennj.gov/nwpark.

Community Invited to Complete Online Survey and Attend 2nd Public Workshop on 2018 Master Plan Reexamination Project

The City of Hoboken Planning Board is currently preparing the 2018 Master Plan Reexamination Report and a new Land Use Plan Element of the Master Plan.

As part of the Master Plan Reexamination process, the City will host a second public workshop on Thursday, February 22nd from 7pm to 9pm at the Wallace Elementary School (downstairs cafeteria), located at 1100 Willow Avenue.  All interested residents, businesses, property owners, and other stakeholders are invited to share their ideas about how Hoboken should grow and what assets the City should protect over the next 10 years and beyond.

Members of the community are also invited to share their opinions and key priorities for the City by completing an online survey available at www.hobokennj.gov/masterplansurvey. A preliminary summary of the survey results will be presented at the February 22nd public workshop.

For more information on the planning process and the preparation of the 2018 Master Plan Reexamination Report and Land Use Plan Element, visit: www.hobokennj.gov/masterplan.

Jersey City and Hoboken Seek Public Input on Bike Share Expansion

Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop and Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla are in discussions regarding the expansion of Hudson Bike Share into Jersey City and CitiBike into Hoboken. The potential expansion may include the addition of three stations in each city. Members of the public are invited to complete an online survey to provide input on possible locations for new bike share stations.

“As neighbors with shared borders, we want to provide our residents and visitors with more choices and access to the benefits of both programs,” said Mayor Fulop.

“Expanding our bike share programs will create important links between Hoboken and Jersey City and improve the resiliency of our regional transportation system,” said Mayor Bhalla.

The online survey is available at www.hobokennj.gov/bikesharesurvey.

Hoboken Announces CDBG Funding Opportunities for Community Groups

The City of Hoboken will accept applications for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program Year 2018 to provide funding to eligible programs and projects sponsored by public agencies or not-for-profit organizations.  The City encourages local community groups who provide quantifiable benefits to low and moderate income residents to apply. The CDBG funding is provided through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
 
The City of Hoboken has not yet received notice from HUD of its Program Year 2018 award, however the City has received an annual allocation of approximately $1,000,000 each Program Year since becoming an Entitlement Community in 2015. Public Service Funding is capped at 15% of total funding, which would make approximately $150,000 available to organizations providing services including, but not limited to child care, after school programs, health care, family planning, and assistance to the homeless.  The City’s Public Facility Funding, also through the CDBG Program, is anticipated to be approximately $800,000 which can be allocated for capital improvements benefiting low to moderate income residents, assuming funding is in line with prior year awards. 
 
Applications are due by 4:00PM on Friday, March 2, 2018.   Funds will become available for the selected applications as early as July 1, 2018.  Since the funding source is limited, this is a competitive application process. The review criteria and eligibility requirements are noted in the application.
 
The City of Hoboken’s CDBG Program Goals are consistent with its adopted 2015-2019 five-Year Consolidated Plan as well as the National Objectives defined by HUD. The City is hosting a community meeting on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 6:30pm at the Hoboken City Hall Ground Floor Conference Room, located at 94 Washington Street, to collect input and identify needs relevant to low and moderate income residents within Program Year 2018. An online survey is also available at: http://hobokennj.gov/departments/community-development/community-development-block-grant-program/.
 
Interested applicants can request an application from Christopher Brown, Principal Planner through the City of Hoboken Department of Community Development via email at cbrown@hobokennj.gov or in person during business hours (9:00AM – 4:00PM) at the Hoboken Planning and Zoning Office, 94 Washington Street, 2nd Floor, Hoboken, NJ 07030. All questions should be directed via email to Mr. Brown, Principal Planner, or phone during business hours at 201-420-2000 ext. 3001.