Hoboken council approves first reading of new Suez deal that promises major upgrades

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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.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“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.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Congrats to Mayor Bhalla and his team for getting this done, and to the City Council for following his lead and supporting his efforts.

    This is a great step forward for Hoboken.

    • Look at you mustering up courage to come back with tail between your legs but trying to keep your arrogant head high. Your last shot if you can’t make the prior mayor still look good is to throw a bone to the undeserving mayor as part of his PR campaign to best the councilwoman’s efforts. Anything but giving the credit to councilwoman Fisher where it’s due. Each day that passes people care less about what you think.

      It is a great step forward for Hoboken. I’ll give you that. And one the previous mayor couldn’t do.

      • Lane Jr is all about promoting Beth Jr 24/7. He used to vehemently support the former mayor but now Lane Jr calls her an unintelligent puppet. So enjoy it while it lasts Beth Jr.

    • Spin away , you just cant STANd that your wife had to step away from running again because you scerwed up.

    • This comment from LindaLou sounds so much like the faux letters to the editor that the corrupt Russo team used to publish in the Hudson Reporter, they paid Amabile/Meadowlands Assoc for the work. Linda does it for free. WEIRD

  2. Congratulations are certainly in order for Mayor Bhalla and his administration.
    The amount of the hatred expressed by his political detractors on this site is appalling but sadly has become the new normal in Hoboken.

  3. why isn’t anyone talking about the rate increases that will result from this contract renewal? Maybe some of the talking heads in the Mayor’s office can actually tell the truth about this question.

    • This Agreement, will result in about $35 million in benefits to the city vs. the almost $40 million in benefits under Mayor Zimmer’s proposal almost 2 years ago. Both proposed transactions will result in small annual water rates increases. If Councilwoman Fisher’s estimates of the revenue and expenses involved over the next 15 years ultimately turn out to be correct, then the new proposal will ultimately result in water rates slightly lower than mayor Zimmer’s proposal would have resulted in (about $100 per year less for a family of 4.)

      Either proposal is a massive improvement over the disastrous contract imposed on the City first by Mayor Russo and then inexplicably made massively worse in a 2001 amendment supported by, among others, then Councilmen Ramos and Soares, that amazingly resulted in the city PAYING millions of dollars to Suez in exchange for Suez agreeing to keep 10 years of our water revenue.

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