Hoboken City Council unanimously votes in favor of $35k contract for rodent control services


The Hoboken City Council unanimously voted in favor of a $35,140 contract for rodent control services from the Union City-based Paramount Exterminating at last night’s meeting.

Photo via iStock/Nick Francis.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

While there are many stories told about rats involved in Hoboken’s government and politics scene, this is one of the few times they involved vermin eating discarded trash off the street.

“We had an internal meeting with the environmental services director, [Jennifer] Gonzalez, and the mayor, and also a couple other staff members … basically to discuss, again, the increase, or uptake, of the recent activity [rats],” began Health and Human Services Director Leo Pellegrini.

“One, there’s no doubt the water main break has something do with it ‘cuz immediately after the water main break, the following week, we started to get a lot of calls. Not only my office, constituent services, and council members that were emailing us.”

He continued that during the meeting, they determined that the previous vendor’s $26,000 contract was for just $26,000, not nearly enough to bait catch basins and buildings.

While a new vendor, Paramount, received $44,000 in August, Pellegrini said that “you need to be on the attack constantly” to resolve the issue for good.

“You have to have a contract that, you’re gonna have to do this all year. You can’t stop, you have to be ready to continue to do it.”

He noted that the current contract would allow the contractor to address the rodent issue between 1st and Monroe Streets up to 5th and Garden Streets, where most of the problems are occurring.

Pellegrini also acknowledged that the $35,140 contract would not be enough to clean up the entire city, but that he was working with Gonzalez and the Hoboken Business Alliance to come up with more funding – which he estimated would need to be about $172,000.

Council President Emily Jabbour asked if contained trash enclosures, such as the one at 10th Street and Park Avenue, were successful in mitigating rat issues, to which he said he believed they were since they had not gotten complaints in those areas.

Additionally, 4th Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos asked if streateries may have “worn out their welcome” given the rodent issue that needs to be mitigated.

“You grew up here, I grew up here, Councilman [Mike] Russo grew up here: I’ve never seen this many rats here throughout the city,” to which Pellegrini said he’d seen them before, but not in residential areas.

“You said eliminate the food source. If that’s a potential food source, whether they’re doing a great job or not, I think we should consider eliminating those food sources.”

He also suggested that residents should get the larger bin-style garbage cans that have a covering to keep food contained.

Upon further commentary from Councilman-at-Large Joe Quintero and 5th Ward Councilman Phil Cohen, Pellegrini acknowledged that the streateries had the potential to attract rats and the council would have to make priorities.

“Mice and rats enjoy the same things we do like warmth, food, and shelter. That’s why mice and rats want to make YOUR home, their home,” Paramount wrote on their website.

“Mouse and rat control is crucial to keeping you family and home safe from bacteria like the salmonella and diseases like hantavirus. Trust the experts in NJ mice and rat control since 1930!”

The resolution was approved unanimously (9-0).

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  1. Live in 10th and Park. Never any eats or mice before. Now the block is inundated. So either they’ve taken over the city or the “rat” bins have pushed out to residential areas.