The Hoboken City Council approved the first reading of a measure that would allow a new deal with Suez Water, which officials said would ensure $33 million in investments to the city through 2034, during last night’s meeting.
“I thank the Council for the support for our updated contract and water utility. If approved at the next meeting, Hoboken will see an unprecedented $33 million invested into our water main system over the next 15 years, an average of six times more than the current contract,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in a statement.
“Instead of the revenue from the system going to SUEZ with only minimal repairs required, it would be directly invested through the City into proactive upgrades. It is my hope the Council will provide unanimous support for final approval at the next meeting.”
If approved by the council at their May 1st meeting, the new public water utility would be managed by the city, with the majority of revenue directly invested into water main upgrades, as officials explained during a press conference last week.
SUEZ would continue to maintain and operate the water system, however all revenues generated from water bills would be invested by the City as opposed to SUEZ.
According to the terms of the current contract, SUEZ is currently only required to provide $350,000 per year in repairs, which makes it difficult to fund emergency repairs.
Additionally, the contract calls for $2 million in “smart technology” to monitor water consumption, which would save Hoboken ratepayers from paying for costly leaks.
If approved on May 1, the revised contract and City managed public water utility would go into effect on July 1.
Instead of the revenue from the system going to SUEZ with only minimal repairs required, it would be directly invested through the City into proactive upgrades.
The measure passed unanimously (8-0), with Council President Jen Giattino absent.