In a letter to the editor, Hoboken City Council President Ravi Bhalla says Hoboken’s elected officials welcome community feedback in the Rebuild by Design process – especially since state and federal entities will ultimately make the final decision on the plan.
The Rebuild by Design process has been the topic of much debate in our community, and while we’ve seen vocal opposition to certain concepts, I am excited to see so many residents get involved and take an interest in this monumental opportunity.
As many of you may be aware, through the advocacy efforts of Mayor Zimmer, last year Hoboken was awarded $230 million in federal funding to implement a plan to keep our city safe from the massive flooding we have seen in the past, including the terrible damage stemming from Hurricane Sandy.
It is important to note that the State of New Jersey and federal government, not the city council or the mayor, will make the final decision on this plan. This is why we need residents to be involved in the process and make their voices heard.
For the past several months, I have served as co-chair of a Citizens Advisory Group (CAG), which is comprised of dedicated local residents who want to ensure the needs of the community are met as we work toward a very important decision about how to utilize these funds.
Residents have expressed frustration about the idea of flood “walls” in neighborhoods and along our waterfront, which is included in the proposed concepts. I share this frustration and anger regarding some of the concepts being presented – particularly the ones that would negatively impact our treasured waterfront or brownstone neighborhoods.
However, the selection process legally requires a certain number of potential concepts to be presented, and then it is up to us to decide which ones are feasible starting points and which ones we consider to be “non-starters.”
This process is a critical means for the community to rally together and make our voices heard. Information is available by searching for “Rebuild by Design – Hudson River” on NJ.gov.
Please join in and review the concepts! If you have feedback, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to discuss these with you and keep you informed of the progress of the Citizens Advisory Group.
If we all work together for the greater good of our City, we can make this seemingly omnipresent threat of flooding an issue of the past.
Ravinder S. Bhalla
Hoboken City Council President