Bayonne Council President Sharon Nadrowski is calling on Hudson County to drop the eminent domain proceedings related to the local medical center, noting that the local ordinance will not get the four votes needed to pass such a measure.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“I am opposed to the use of eminent domain of the property for multiple reasons. First, the current property owner, HRH, has agreed to preserve Bayonne Hospital as a hospital. Second, HRH has provided a letter indicating a willingness to drop any litigation related to the rezoning of the property,” she wrote in a letter to Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise today.
“This is important because it is through zoning that the city controls what uses are allowed on the property. Third, HRH has agreed to enter into negotiations with Bayonne to give us a right of first refusal which means if they decide to sell the property or change its use, we can buy it. Finally, this issue is a dispute between private parties and does not present a public benefit.”
Hudson Regional Hospital and BMC Hospital LLC have been feuding over who would run the Bayonne Medical Center since June of last year and little movement has happened since then.
In May, the Bayonne City Council, in their first in person meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic began, voted to table ordinance that would have got the ball rolling for a $95 million eminent domain plan that would’ve favored BMC Hospital.
The effort would be done in conjunction with the Hudson County Improvement Authority, which is why Nadrowski addressed the letter to DeGise.
The governing body didn’t vote on the measure since the Local Finance Board in Trenton needs to hear the matter first, but has declined to do so at their June, July, and August meetings.
Nadrowski also notes in the letter that she tried to call a vote on the local legislation at the August 18th council meeting, but the measure didn’t get a second.
Furthermore, she points out that since it is a bonding ordinance, it would require four out of five council members voting yes. She has been clear she’ll be voting no, while 2nd Ward Councilman Sal Gullace must abstain since he sits on the BMC board.
“There are still a lot of details to be worked out, but at zero cost to the taxpayers, Bayonne Hospital will continue to operate for generations to come – it is a win-win for Bayonne and Hudson County. My only concern is protecting the hospital not picking who gets to run it,” she continued in the letter.
“History has taught us that the government should not be in the hospital business. Based upon the above facts, I ask that the County withdraw its application to the Local Finance Board or that the Local Finance Board reject the application. I remain committed to working with any and all parties to resolve the hospital situation.”
A county spokesman did not immediately return an email seeking comment.