LETTER: $230M Rebuild by Design project moving forward

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In a letter to the editor, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer reveals that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has formally approved $230 million to go towards the Rebuild by Design project.

Dear Editor,

Early this week we learned that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued formal approval for the State of New Jersey to use $230 million in funds to complete the design and construction of the Hudson River Rebuild by Design (RBD) project.

This critical project will protect Hoboken and parts of Weehawken and Jersey City from rising sea levels and the impact of climate change.

This is a major milestone for the long-term resiliency of our City. Thanks to strong community support, Hoboken is now on track to work with the State of New Jersey, Weehawken, and Jersey City towards the final design of this project over approximately the next 18 months.

These federal funds are dedicated specifically for the Hudson River RBD project and are no longer at risk of being repurposed by the federal government for any reason. Completion of this project is now in the hands of the State of New Jersey and Hoboken, Weehawken, and Jersey City.

Going forward, it will be important to work closely with the community and the State to finalize the design so that it can be completed by the funding deadline of 2022, providing essential protection for residents, businesses, and critical facilities.

This Rebuild by Design competition that started in 2013 not only allowed design teams to develop innovative solutions that would otherwise have been ineligible for FEMA funding, but it also provided a framework so that all levels of government could work together in parallel towards a common goal, avoiding years of delays.

The Hudson River Rebuild by Design project is a comprehensive approach to flooding that also builds upon several City initiatives. This includes our three resiliency parks built with green infrastructure to reduce flooding from heavy rain.

The Northwest Resiliency Park is currently being designed to retain one million gallons of storm water. The 2-acre resiliency park at 7th and Jackson is currently under construction, and the recently-opened Southwest Resiliency Park is targeted for further expansion.

In addition, the City has implemented other projects and strategies that integrate with the RBD water management strategy.

This includes the construction of the second flood pump, built in partnership with North Hudson Sewerage Authority, the adoption of redevelopment plans requiring the use of green infrastructure in new development, and successfully incentivizing over 100,000 square feet of green roofs on existing buildings through our zoning code.

We are also making our energy system more resilient from flooding and other disruptions by working with PSE&G to combine and elevate our substations, installing permanent elevated backup generators at critical facilities, and moving forward with an electric microgrid to ensure the lights stay on even if the central grid goes down.

Thank you so much to the Hoboken community, including the Community Advisory Group, the dedicated City of Hoboken resiliency and sustainability team, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Community Affairs, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Weehawken Mayor Turner, Jersey City Mayor Fulop, Executive Director Richard Wolff and the North Hudson Sewerage Authority, and all the partners who worked to reach consensus and advance this vital project.

Thank you to Senator Menendez, Senator Booker, and Congressman Sires for your continued support of all of these resiliency projects.

This Sunday, as we recognize the 5-year anniversary of Sandy, we invite residents to stop by at the Hoboken Historical Museum from 2pm to 5pm to reflect and celebrate how far we have come since that devastating Superstorm Sandy struck our City five years ago.

Dawn Zimmer

Hoboken Mayor

14 COMMENTS

  1. How come Mayor Zimmer didn’t thank Ben Carson who is the head of HUD?
    Why is she showing her white privilege and not thanking the man of color who approved this major project for our region?

    That’s horrible!

      • I’m a proud Cuban American calling Hoboken home.
        We expect Hoboken to work with everyone to make Hoboken better. We’re at risk here.

          • Just gotta love all the out of staters who fled Hoboken after they were chased off boards by Hoboken residents
            Stan puppet /co-defendant Jake Stuiver was so upset he lost his chairmanship on the HHA that he fled the HHA re-org meeting leaving residents high and dry- PROVING that Zimmer supporters like Stuiver are carpet baggers who leave after they lose. Now we are left with costly lawsuits because Stuiver was taking orders from Grossbard on best ways to terminate or not renew a director’s contract. I’m no expert but discussing personnel matters with outsiders seems like a real no-no. Something about confidentiality and RICE notifications that public employees are entitled to.
            Even the Mayor’s office is a separate and distinct entity from a federally monitored public housing commission, it seems really unethical for a commissioner to share personnel matters with anyone who is not a fellow commissioner or HR professional.
            Zimmer’s appointees have a habit of causing us lawsuits – even if the employee was terrible, they are entitled to a fair and objective review. Even a failed lawyer or campaign manager can tell you that.

    • Mayor Dawn Zimmer repeatedly thanked President Barak Obama for all the aspects of the project and the funding.

      I don’t know if she specifically thanked Ben Carson by name but she certainly publicly thanked everyone involved.

  2. If you’ve ever been to a Rebuild by Design meeting hosted by the Mayor, you would see scores of Planners, Consultants and other high paid contractors who have been eating away at the $230 million for years. One can only wonder how much of the money will actually be left to implement a plan. Politics has been driving the Rebuild plan since inception and the homeowners and businesses will suffer when nothing significant emerges from the remaining dollars.

    • It’s those contracts Dawn and Ravi want to keep their paws on!
      Rumor is DAwn and Stan are going to start a environmental consultancy firm which would be perfect for Ravi Bhalla to award them no-bid contracts to for things like boathouses, bike lanes and tree pits.

      Zimmer has no career outside of being a co-dependant mayor who couldn’t find her way to city hall each day without her husband Stan Grossbard’s ( The Shadow ) direction.
      That guy has more nasty posts online than Beth Mason’s purple pillow carrying minion.
      He pumps Nancy with so much online garbage to keep that Cave of a blog going and she actually thinks more than their current co-defendants and Bhalla team losers reads it.
      Whacky Pinkers sat right in front of Ravi and Romano spoiler Karen Nason at Mayoral debate- talk about a group of nasty, crazy and vicious people. Attacking Jen Giattino and private citizens 24/7 online, but don’t say anything about Nancy or Stan- oh that’s libel. ( according to the legal beak )

      Ravi is tanking, the lion won’t get the crown.
      Feel the surge Nancy…. The Shadow knows, but they ain’t telling you

    • Question: How much of the $230,000,000 spent on planning and meetings ?

      Answer: None.
      It was from a separate budget. You might have known that if you attended any of the public meetings.

  3. If Zimmer could waste 50,000 on painting a shipping container and 4 million on a boathouse to store Jim Doyle’s kayaks and a place for his running buddies to drink beer after a race, then you can only imagine the money that will be wasted with former law partner’s firms, engineers and planners.
    Look at the mess Zimmer and Crew made of Washington St.
    If they can’t pave a street correctly how are they going to properly spend $250 million on a flood retention system.

    It’s New Orlean’s Part 2

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