Hoboken officials come together in support of ‘Option 1’ Rebuild by Design plan

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A handful of Hoboken elected officials have come together to support the “Option 1” Rebuild by Design plan that would include a flood wall along the city’s southern border.

From left to right: Hoboken 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco, Councilwoman-at-Large Emily Jabbour, Mayor Ravi Bhalla, Council President Ruben Ramos and 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher. Photo courtesy of the City of Hoboken.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“My priority as Mayor is to protect the health and well-being of our residents,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in a statement.

“If we can maintain the federally mandated schedule and budget for Rebuild by Design while constructing Option 1, the positive economic impacts on our community and throughout New Jersey will extend beyond the flood risk reduction measures. All parties need to come together to consider the decades-long effects of this decision.”

Council President Ruben Ramos echoed that sentiment, noting that he sponsored a resolution along those same lines that the council approved back on April 4th.

“I proudly sponsored a City Council resolution in April advocating against placing a wall along this corridor,” Ramos added.

“Placing the wall along this corridor would undermine the proposed critically important redevelopment of the Hoboken Rail Yards. We can not allow the Christie wall to suffocate one our city’s vital neighborhoods.”

The aforementioned resolution calls for “Governor Phillip Murphy and the NJDEP recognize the shortcomings of the past state administration’s selection of Option 2 of the Rebuild By Design Hudson River: Resist, Delay, Store Discharge Project and allow for the evaluation of alternative options that will accomplish all of the goals of protection, revitalization and economic development for all of the residents of the City of Hoboken …”

On Twitter, 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco stated that Option 2 would be a tremendous detriment to his district.

“The City Council and mayor are united against the current positioning of a flood wall which would further industrialize my downtown district, reduce property values, stymie positive growth and limit infrastructure. #Hoboken”

Rebuild by Design is a $230 million flood prevention project that involved the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.