The Local Finance Board in Trenton opted not to vote on a $95 million eminent domain plan for the Bayonne Medical Center at today’s meeting, citing a need to do a more comprehensive review prior to making a decision.
Lisa Ryan, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs – who oversees the Local Finance Board – said on Thursday that Hudson Regional Hospital filed documents with the board on Tuesday opposing the project and the board decided it would be premature to take a vote without a more thorough review.
“The decision was made to provide the Board and Board staff the opportunity to thoroughly review the facts and circumstances asserted by the applicant and opposing party prior to taking action on the proposed financing. The next scheduled meeting of the Local Finance Board is Wednesday, July 14, 2021.”
Additionally, Bayonne spokesman Joe Ryan said the decision came after two new proposals came in late, indicating that BMC Hospital had done the same.
“The Local Finance Board was unable to vote today because they just received two proposals on this issue from the hospital companies. They said they had not had enough time to consider this new information, and, therefore, would not vote on this issue today,” he said in an email.
Additionally, a spokeswoman for the Hudson County Incinerator Authority, the agency that was scheduled to address the finance board, said they are still moving forward.
“The Authority is preparing to move forward with the financing process to assist the City of Bayonne upon the City taking appropriate action in this matter,” she said.
Mota added that the authority is preparing to move forward with the financing process once Bayonne takes appropriate action but declined to comment on the finance board’s decision
This week, Hudson Regional Hospital and BMC Hospital LLC, the two entities fighting over who will control the Bayonne Medical Center, sent proposals to the city council to avoid, and proceed with, respectively, the eminent domain plan, as HCV first reported.
“Hudson Regional Hospital is committed to providing high-performing acute care in Hudson
County, which is consistent with the City’s interests in Bayonne,” noted HRH CEO Dr. Nizar Kifaieh.
The Bayonne City Council decided not to vote on the two ordinances pertaining to the eminent domain plan last month after about four hours of public comment.
At the time, Special Counsel Joe DeMarco cautioned that the council shouldn’t vote prior to a Local Finance Board hearing.
The measures are on the agenda for next week’s council meeting, but is almost certain to be tabled again in light of the Finance Board’s decision.
Editor’s note: This story was updated with a comment from New Jersey Department of Community Affairs spokeswoman Lisa Ryan.