Hoboken council mulling options for $5.3M in repairs, new hotel at Pier A Park

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Just before Wednesday evening’s Hoboken City Council meeting was underway, Mayor Dawn Zimmer released a statement asking the board to approve a resolution to bond for $5.3 million to repair Pier A Park.

By Marc Bussanich/Hudson County View

To date, the city and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey have not been able to reach an agreement on how to fund the repairs, although both entities established a fund back in 1994 for maintenance repairs along the waterfront.

The fund is administered by the South Waterfront Board, comprised of representatives from the city, the Port Authority and developers.

Zimmer expressed frustration with the Port Authority over its recalcitrance.

“Unfortunately, the Port Authority representative on the Board has failed to attend multiple meetings and failed to participate in many meetings when present. This action has caused a stalemate so that the Board has not been able to come to a final decision on the funding of the repairs,” she said in a statement.

“The Port Authority’s failure to participate in the process has occurred despite my direct discussions with Executive Director Pat Foye. As a public agency, the Port Authority has a fiduciary responsibility to represent the public’s interests in its capacity as a member of the board. Sadly, their failure to participate has created a deadlock much to the detriment of the public that they serve.”

After the meeting, Councilman-at-Large James Doyle talked about the significance of the city having to be the lone entity that pays for the Pier A Park repairs, hinting that litigation might be necessary to ensure that the city recoups monies.

“We needed to move ahead to protect the pier and on a parallel track deal with the issues relating to obtaining funding from the Southern Waterfront Board’s fund, which exists for maintaining the pier,” he began.

“It may involve a change of the nature of that organization, it may involve litigation, who knows? But we thought than rather than holding up protecting the pier, we had to move ahead.”

Also, the proposal to build a new hotel near Pier A Park revealed that the council is undecided about which hotel operator to designate, despite the fact that brochures available at the hearing illustrated a sleek rendering of the “New Hilton Hotel.”

However, Doyle was quick to say in an interview that the Hilton Hotel has yet to be selected.

“I would like to clarify, I made a point during the meeting, there is no Hilton Hotel being proposed. We’re currently evaluating a plan for that property, which everyone anticipates may be a hotel,” he explained.

“But we have not adopted a plan, and we haven’t selected a developer, so it’s very premature. It may be Hilton, it may not be, it depends on how it will play out. But there’s a legal process, and my point this evening was we needed to follow that process carefully so we don’t get ourselves in trouble.”