Last night the Zimmer Administration officially handed responsibility for the Western Edge Redevelopment Plan to the City Council.
�The City Council, as the redevelopment agency, has ultimate authority over the redevelopment process, and I thought it was important to clearly mark this transfer by placing the Western Edge resolution on the agenda,� said Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
The Zimmer Administration is fully committed to assisting the Council through a collaborative approach and will make professionals available to assist as needed to further refine the Western Edge Redevelopment Plan with input from the public.
Unlike previous plans, the currently proposed Western Edge Redevelopment Plan includes a guaranteed location for the long-promised community center with pool which must be built before developers can open their buildings. The area occupied by this community center accounts for the difference between the amount of open space in the prior plan and the current plan.
�I believe it is important to finally fulfill the promise of bringing a community center to the residents of Hoboken,� added Mayor Zimmer.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer will welcome and introduce Governor Chris Christie when he visits Hoboken on Thursday, September 30th to discuss his education reform agenda. The public is invited to attend the town hall meeting at the Elysian Charter School at the Rue Building Gymnasium located at 301 Garden Street. The event will begin at 2pm, and admission is first-come, first-served.
Surrounding streets will remain open, but there will be no parking permitted on Garden St. between 3rd St. and 4th St and on 3rd St. between Park Ave. and Bloomfield St.
The National Weather Service has announced that a flood watch is in effect from late Wednesday night on September 29th through late Friday night. A high wind watch is also in effect from Thursday morning through late Thursday night.
The characteristics of this storm will be tropical in nature. This weather system is the remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole which is now an exo-tropical system.
Rain is expected to begin in the late evening hours of Wednesday September 29th, and be light in nature. The rain will continue through Thursday September 30th and into the early morning hours of Friday October 1st, tapering off just after sunrise.
The Administration is providing updates on several topics of interest to the community.
Western Edge Redevelopment Plan
The Western Edge Redevelopment Plan is the first item for consideration at this evening�s City Council meeting. Several members of the City Council, which is the redevelopment agency for the City, have expressed interest in postponing consideration of the Western Edge Redevelopment Plan in order to solicit additional input from the community. The community concerns have been largely focused on the amount of open space presented in the plan.
The Administration, working with the Trust for Public Land, has been in discussions and negotiations for the last year to acquire a large area of land adjacent to the Western Edge for a park. The property known as the Henkel site is owned by Cognis. The City currently has $3 million in funding to acquire the site, and the Administration has applied for additional Green Acres funding. The Administration�s intention has been to develop the Western Edge in concert with the adjacent planned park at the Henkel site. The City was close to an agreement to purchase the site, but because Cognis is now being bought out by another entity, discussions were delayed until the closing of the purchase, scheduled for the end of November. The Trust for Public Land has been in communication with the company acquiring the Hankel site, and they are very receptive to working with City.
A Special Meeting of the City Council is scheduled for Wednesday, September 29th at 7pm at the Council chambers in City Hall, 94 Washington Street. The community is invited to attend and participate in a public hearing on the 2010 Transition Year Municipal Budget. Click here for the meeting agenda.
The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for Hudson County until 6pm, September 28th. Additionally, showers and thunderstorms could produce locally strong wind gusts and heavy rain this afternoon and early this evening.
High winds are possible in Hoboken this Tuesday, September 28th. Be sure your property (including construction sites) is secure.
Bring in unsecured objects from patios and balconies and secure outdoor objects such as lawn furniture or garbage cans that could blow away and cause damage or injury.
The Zimmer Administration is announcing a series of actions and initiatives, including a police redeployment plan, that save taxpayers money, enhance community safety, and avoid the layoffs of police officers through retirements and the previously announced interlocal agreement with the Hoboken Housing Authority.
“Today, I am proud to announce that we are achieving the cost savings our taxpayers need while improving safety and avoiding layoffs. From the beginning, I’ve stated that each retirement submitted will save an officer from being laid off. Everyone in our community wins, and I am incredibly thankful to everyone who worked constructively over the past few weeks to make this happen,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I want to be very clear: This was never about political agendas. This is about doing what’s in the best interest of all of the people of Hoboken.”
Mayor Zimmer’s redeployment plan, which was developed with and embraced by Police Chief Falco, reorganizes the Police Department to be as efficient and effective as possible and ensures resident safety by dramatically increasing on-street patrols.
“Through redeployment and civilianization of certain positions, we are drastically increasing the number of police personnel assigned to patrol Hoboken’s streets by 38 percent from 72 to 99 officers,” said Mayor Zimmer.
Additionally, in order to enhance community safety when activity is highest and restaurants and bars are crowded with residents and visitors, a power shift will be instituted increasing patrol coverage by up to 16 officers between the hours of 8pm and 4am.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer presented a proclamation to Meryl Kurland,�a student at Elysian Charter School,�congratulating her for winning 2nd place in her age category in the “What My Parents Mean To Me” state-wide essay contest. More than 120 applicants from throughout the state participated in the contest. Pictured with Mayor Zimmer is Miss Meryl Kurland, 12.
The Hoboken Housing Authority voted unanimously tonight to agree to a shared services agreement with the City of Hoboken to establish a Hoboken Housing Authority Bureau that will work in close coordination and partnership with resident patrols, community groups, development managers, and the HHA Executive Director to effectively reduce crime and aggressively target violations and other conditions that detract from the quality of life for residents in the Hoboken Housing Developments and the surrounding area.
�Over the last few weeks, a lot of work went into making this happen,� said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. �I�m especially thankful to 4th Ward Councilman Michael Lenz for strongly advocating for the establishment of this Housing Authority Bureau which will improve safety for Housing Authority residents, save taxpayers money, and save five police jobs.�
One Police Sergeant and four Patrolmen will be assigned to patrol the Housing Authority area during peak activity hours between 8pm and 4am. Previously, through the volunteer OEP program, off-duty police were paid overtime to patrol the area. This agreement will replace the existing $540,000 OEP program and will not cost the taxpayers of Hoboken anything. By establishing a consistent presence of assigned personnel, the program will improve safety by allowing officers to build ties with the community.
�This is exactly the kind of cooperative approach I have been advocating for, and I commend Mayor Zimmer, Director Garcia and their teams for getting it done,� said 4th Ward Councilman Michael Lenz. �It just didn’t make sense to lay off some police while paying overtime to others, and this agreement addresses real human concerns while saving money and ensuring public safety.�
The City of Hoboken is making progress on two park and open space projects in Northern Hoboken, 1600 Park and Hoboken Cove, and will soon hold public meetings to solicit community feedback on the design of the parks.
�The residents of Hoboken deserve more parks and recreation space,� said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. �Starting more than a decade ago, concerned residents fought to preserve this area for open space, and thanks to their efforts, we will soon have these two new parks which will add an additional 4 acres of open space for our community.�
Because the projects had been stalled for years, the City risked losing grant funding due to inaction.