The Hoboken City Council will consider a $250,000 settlement with PSE&G and one of their contractors, J. Fletcher Creamer and Son, related to a significant water main break in February.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
A copy of the agreement that the council is expected to vote on at Wednesday’s public session says that J. Fletcher Cramer and Son will pay the city $250,000 within 30 days of the settlement being executed. A settlement fund will also be established for local businesses.
Additionally, neither JFC or PSE&G admit to any liability and the city is prevented from filing a civil or administrative claim in court. City spokeswoman Marilyn Baer said the city will benefit greatly beyond direct financial compensation.
“If approved by the Hoboken City Council, the City will enter into a settlement with PSE&G and Veolia that covers the City’s costs for the emergency, creates a fund for small businesses to recoup some of their costs, and gets Veolia to pay for hundreds of thousands of dollars in infrastructure projects, including $600,000 in leak detection sensors which was previously going to be paid for by the City,” she told HCV.
The proposed settlement does not explicitly mention Veolia and a spokesman for the company declined to comment.
The settlement stems from damages caused by road work performed on February 27th that resulted in a 16-inch water main break on Madison Street between Observer Highway and Newark Street.
The incident led to a boil water advisory being instituted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for approximately a day-and-a-half, as well as causing the Hoboken University Medical Center to evacuate patients for a brief time.
After the situation was resolved, Mayor Ravi Bhalla thanked everyone for their patience before revealing that the city planned to collect damages from PSE&G.
“I remain extremely disappointed that we were in this situation to begin with, due to circumstances outside of our control, that caused substantial hardship to our city. To that end, today we have sent PSE&G formal notice that the City intends to collect damages incurred as a result of their apparent negligence in conducting underground construction work,” he wrote in a March 3rd Nixle alert.
“PSE&G has been instructed, through the City’s law department, to preserve all documents and evidence related to their construction work. We intend to hold PSE&G fully accountable for their actions.”
While the city never filed a lawsuit, the formal notice from Corporation Counsel Brian Aloia was apparently enough to get the parties to the negotiating table.
The Hoboken City Council convenes at City Hall, 94 Washington St., on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and the meeting will also stream live on their Facebook and YouTube pages.