Zimmer talks Hoboken flood preparedness, open space at State of the City

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Mayor Dawn Zimmer received a standing ovation for her 7th State of City address at a packed DeBaun Auditorium at the Stevens Institute of Technology last night.

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At the annual ceremony, opening remarks came from Stevens President Dr. Nariman Farvardin & Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro (D-33).

“I am proud to have formed an alliance with her, to work towards bringing the best back to this great city from any level. And for letting me know that she has my back, I have her back and that’s how you work together,” stated Chaparro.

Zimmer highlighted the improvements to the quality of life for the residents and shared that her proudest accomplishment is stabilizing taxes.

“Thanks to some serious team effort, for the eighth straight budget under my administration, municipal taxes will remain stable as they have been since I took office in 2009,” she explained.

“And we are doing it in a fiscally responsible way. Taking this city from junk bond status to a AA+ rating is one of my proudest accomplishments. “

The mayor, whose seeking re-election this year, also pointed out how the Mile Square City is handling the flooding, beginning with the $11 million investment for a second flood pump through a continued partnership with the North Hudson Sewerage Authority.

“News crews were here to try and cover the flooding in our city last week, but all they saw was wet pavement. We are no longer the go to place for footage of flooding! We are no longer the go-to place for footage of flooding!,” the mayor proudly exclaimed.

She also reminded the residents that the risk of flooding is far from over and requested that all residents show their support at the March 16th mandated hearing for the Rebuild by Design project to have full access to the $230 million grant funding.

Furthermore, Hoboken has invested $12 million to upgrade the water main system and negotiating a contract with Suez Water.

The agreement “includes $350,000 per year for repairs but nothing toward upgrading our water main system. I have made clear in our negotiations that one of the of the non-negotiable terms for me is at least a $1 million annual payment for repairs and upgrades to the City water main system, indexed for inflation,” explained Zimmer.

The mayor also mentioned adding eight new acres of open space to western Hoboken, including a two-acre park and public gymnasium as part of the 7th and Jackson project and six acres of land on the BASF site in northwest Hoboken.

All new parks are being built with green infrastructure and detention systems to hold back more than 1.5 million gallons of stormwater.

Residents were also relieved to hear that Zimmer also proposed that “remaining development areas in the Southwest and North End have very limited residential development to reduce the number of cars added to our city.”

Other improvements include three new apparatuses for the fire department, violent crime dropping 16 percent from 2015 and a 35 percent decrease in robberies.

Preceding Zimmer’s address were performances by Garden Street performers, Finn Douglas and Jeanne Cummins singing the National Anthem.