In a letter to the editor, the Fund for a Better Waterfront is urging Hoboken voters to approve the two questions on the ballot November 5th.
On election day, cast your vote YES on Questions 1 & 2. This will ensure that Hoboken can create a lasting legacy of public open space before the townâ€™s rapid development erases that opportunity.
Voting YES for open space is especially important for our waterfront, where there is a chance to fully connect a public waterfront park – a project 30 years in the making.
In November 2007, Hoboken voters overwhelmingly approved the Open Space Trust Fund (OSTF) by a 10 to 1 margin. For the past 12 years, the City has successfully used this fund to help acquire and build 11 acres of new public parkland on the west side of town.
Currently, the OSTF ordinance allots 2 cents per $100 of assessed property value, generating more than $2 million annually to the fund.
For an individual homeowner with a property assessed at $500,000, the 2 cent rate means that $100 of their taxes annually goes to the OSTF.
If ballot Question #2 is approved, the rate would increase to 3 cents per $100 assessed value (or $150 annually for a property valued at $500,000).
This is not a tax increase but instead a change in how taxes are allocated, dedicating about 2 percent of Hobokenâ€™s municipal budget to the OSTF.
As long as the City holds the line on total spending and keeps other revenue sources constant, there would be no increase in municipal taxes.
The current OSTF ordinance requires that 75 percent of the funds be dedicated to park acquisition. Ballot Question #1 would amend this, allowing the 75 percent to be used for park construction as well as acquisition.
Question #1 would allow the other 25 percent of the funds to be dedicated for historic preservation purposes.
By dedicating more dollars toward public open space development, the City of Hoboken will be able to leverage more park funding through County, State and Federal sources as it has done in the past.
Hoboken continues to suffer from a deficit of open space. The current ratio of 1 acre per 1,000 residents is well below New York Cityâ€™s standard of 2.5 acres and the national standard of 6.25 to 10.5 acres per 1,000 residents. By voting YES on Questions 1 & 2, part of this deficit will be reduced.
For nearly 30 years, the people of Hoboken and FBW have sought to fulfill a vision for a continuous, public waterfront park along the Hudson River in Hoboken. The potential is now close at hand to complete several of the last missing links including Union Dry Dock and the Monarch pier. This is a rare opportunity that cannot be squandered. A park at Union Dry Dock would add over three acres of land as public open space connecting Castle Point Park to Maxwell Place Park.
Vote YES for a lasting legacy of open space that will make all of Hoboken proud.
Fund for a Better Waterfront