The Hoboken City Council will vote on a resolution that ask for a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection briefing on Rebuild by Design, specifically regarding the stalled easements planned for Jersey City.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The resolution, sponsored by 1st Ward Councilman Paul Presinzano, 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, and 4th Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos, reminds the state agency that the governing body unanimously approved a resolution in November urging action on the easements.
” … During the discussion preceding the passage of that Resolution, the City Administration acknowledged to the City Council, for the first time, that it has been aware of the easement issue threatening the completion of RBD for approximately 2 years despite not advising the City Council,” the measure says.
” … And when asked by the Council, the Administration declined to provide information about the nature of the dispute, the current status or a timeline for its resolution, stating that the information would have to come from the State.”
Specifically, the legislation seeks to accomplish three things: to receive a briefing from NJ DEP Division of Resilience, Engineering, and Construction Director Dennis Reinknecht, appointing Ramos as the council’s DEP liaison, and sending a copy of the resolution to the offices of Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and DEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette, respectively.
A city spokeswoman, along with a spokesman for the DEP, did not return emails seeking comment.
This particular issue came to a head in early November, when former Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who spearheaded Rebuild by Design during her tenure, accusing Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop of holding the project “hostage,” and her successor, Ravi Bhalla, complicit.
About three weeks after the aforementioned resolution passed, Zimmer asserted that the Jersey City easements were being blocked to protect the financial interests of Lincoln Equities, a developer who has approval to build the 800-unit “Holland Park” project.
“DEP is committed to working through any remaining issues, including Jersey City property needs, while continuing to complete the project on schedule. We have already obtained many property easements for the project,” DEP spokesman Larry Hajna said in December.
The Hoboken City Council convenes at City Hall, 94 Washington St., on Wednesday at 7 p.m., with the meeting streaming live on their Facebook and YouTube pages.