Hoboken rolls out new $13.2M ‘rescue plan’ to bolster COVID-19 response, rent relief, & more

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The City of Hoboken has rolled out a $13.2 million “rescue plan” to bolster their COVID-19 response, provide rent relief, alternative transportation, and much more, officials said this morning.

Photo courtesy of the City of Hoboken.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“The COVID-19 pandemic has provided challenges to all aspects of our lives in ways we never thought imaginable. As we continue to adapt and recover, the Hoboken Rescue Plan will provide critically needed funding to protect our community and invest in our City’s infrastructure for years to come,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in a statement.

“I look forward to working with the city council and city directors to implement these important quality-of-life initiatives in the next several months, and once again, thank Senator Menendez, Senator Booker, and Congressman Sires for fighting for this funding for New Jersey.”

The plan also supports recovery efforts for small businesses, grant funding for the City’s nonprofit community, ambulance service upgrades, upgrades to the Hoboken Health Department, funding for continued COVID-19 testing, and a vaccine incentive for City Hall employees.

Back in March, Booker and Menendez announced that Hoboken would receive $27,201,022.91 from the American Rescue Plan, as HCV first reported. The city has already allocated $6.4 million in federal funding towards this year’s budget.

“Hoboken is committed to providing continued testing and vaccinations for residents and business employees, which is here to stay for as long as there is a demand,” noted Health and Human Services Director Leo Pellegrini.

“This funding will be an important part of building out our Health Department so we can continue to conduct contact tracing, identify trends, educate the public, and assist residents in getting booster shots in the months ahead.”

The plan also allocates money to infrastructure upgrades, including water main leak and pressure detection technology, expands access to the city’s art and recreation programs, provides funding for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations, and funds the creation of a citywide micro-transit system.

All proposed aspects of the Hoboken Rescue Plan have been provided preliminary approval by the City’s federal grant consultants at Grant Rite Management and are permitted uses as specified by the federal government.

Specifically, the Hoboken Rescue Plan will allocate:

• $250,000 to expand the City’s robust COVID-19 response, providing more masks, testing, and vaccines to members of the community.

• $750,000 to create a Housing Relief Fund to support residents who the pandemic has negatively impacted.

The funding will also allow the City to expand the current tenant advocate position, which will allow for increased services and counsel for those with landlord-tenant issues.

“While New Jersey’s eviction moratorium largely remains in place until the end of the year, this funding will help me better represent Hoboken’s tenants in need as cases are likely forthcoming in 2022,” said Hoboken’s Tenant Advocate Andrew Sobel.

As previously noted, the plan will also distribute $1.8 million to local small businesses.

The city received 241 applications from local businesses that have faced financial hardship because of the pandemic.

Other allocations include $250,000 to increase ambulance service in Hoboken, which continues to respond to pandemic-related calls, and $150,000 to upgrade broadband and Wi-Fi access in the Hoboken Housing Authority.

“The Hoboken Housing Authority is grateful for the inclusion of funds for expanded Wi-Fi and Internet broadband connectivity in the Hoboken Rescue Plan,” said HHA Executive Director Marc Recko.

“In today’s world, reliable and affordable broadband is an essential part of life for low- and moderate-income families addressing educational, personal, and financial equality.”

Also of note, the city plans to invest $500,000 in a new microtransit system, set to release a request for proposals (RFP) for an on-demand micro-transit system to provide additional, alternative transportation options for residents in the coming weeks.

They also plan to use $300,000 to expand the City’s installation of electric vehicle charging stations citywide, supporting the City’s Climate Action Plan goals to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

The city will add six new charging stations and increase the number of charging ports to 22 citywide and will be preparing to advertise an RFP in the coming weeks to build out a citywide electric vehicle charging network.

“As Hoboken continues to grow, it’s critical that the City continues to innovate and expand its mobility programs to meet the needs of the community, said Ryan Sharp, Director of Transportation and Parking.

“Targeted investments in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and an on-demand microtransit program will position Hoboken as a regional leader in green transportation while making it much more convenient to own an electric vehicle or get around town.”

Furthermore, $1 million will go towards installing pressure gauges and leak sensors throughout Hoboken’s water main system, $500,00 for local nonprofits, and $600,000 in financial incentives to encourage municipal employees to get vaccinated.

The Mile Square City is currently the only municipality in Hudson County that has implemented a COVID-19 vaccine/testing mandate for their government workers.

The Hoboken Rescue Plan will be presented to the Hoboken City Council during tomorrow’s meeting, which will convene via Zoom.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Anti-Bhalla faction of the council currently awaiting the dictates from their outside PR team on how to bad mouth this initiative, as well as a Phase II action plan on how to also take credit for it when it passes.

    Nutty equine also ready to pull the trigger on boilerplate terror flyer comment.

  2. Someone got inside the Ravi operatives heads, in a big way. Hey look Terror Flier Ravi has new taxpayer bribes to roll out. Pupie is scratching his head and asking, “So, that’s how you do it.”

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