By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“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,” Zimmer said in a statement.
“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.”
Hoboken has been plagued by water main breaks for years, a common complaint of administration critics and commuters alike, but Zimmer hopes that these upgrades would eventually remedy the problem.
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 proposed agreement would extend the contract by another decade: 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, officials said.
Furthermore, the City would receive no funds for modernization of the water main system and would also be responsible for 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 at their August 2nd meeting.
A presentation highlighting the terms of agreement can be read here.