September, 2011

City-Wide Playground Improvement Project Moves Forward

The City of Hoboken has received bids for a City-Wide Playground Improvements project. The project will include new playground equipment and safety surfacing at Jackson Street Park, Jefferson Park and Legion Park. The City of Hoboken anticipates awarding the project at the next City Council meeting on October 5, 2011. The project will commence shortly thereafter and is expected to be completed by the end of 2011.

“I believe every Hoboken resident should have a quality park just a short walk away,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “These new playgrounds are part of a city-wide capital investment plan to improve our existing parks while we work to create new ones for our growing population and underserved neighborhoods.”

Mayor Zimmer Corrects the Record Regarding Hospital Sale

There has been much confusion, much of it manufactured intentionally, about the nature of the bids received for the sale of Hoboken University Medical Center. Specifically, two bidders, CHA/Jersey City Medical Center, (JCMC) and P3, have made public statements and released information with regard to their bids which has had the effect of misleading the public. By doing so, they have waived confidentiality with respect to the actual content of their bids.

It is important to clarify the record so that the public fully understands that the offer from HUMC Holdco was at all times the only proposal that preserved our hospital, protected our taxpayers, had real financing in place, and offered the best opportunity for the long term success of the hospital and its employees.

The HUMC Holdco bid maintains all the vital services of our hospital and fully defeases the bond immediately, eliminating the financial risk for the City. It was fully funded with a solid commitment from a qualified lender for the full purchase price. After the sale, the hospital would be obligated to pay its full property tax generating approximately $600,000 of tax savings for Hoboken’s taxpayers. No other bid came close to meeting these criteria.

City of Hoboken Introduces “Late Night” Parking Enforcement Shift

In response to resident requests for improved parking enforcement services during evening and late night hours, the Hoboken Parking Utility will commence a third shift to extend into the early hours of the morning, beginning in October. Enforcement during these hours will be focused on abuse of limited resident parking space via permit parking regulations on residential streets, as well as various safety concerns that impede emergency response vehicles from navigating narrow streets. The new extended schedule also allows the HPU to relieve the Hoboken Police Department from assuming the responsibility of parking enforcement during hours when enforcement by HPU was previously not scheduled.

“We regularly hear from residents who feel that illegal parking goes unchecked in the late hours, especially on Friday and Saturday nights,� said Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs. �This additional shift will focus on addressing those concerns.”

Statement from Mayor Zimmer on Hoboken University Medical Center

Negotiations are going very well, but there are still some outstanding issues that need to be resolved.

HHI, with�input from Holdco, decided that since negotiations have been very productive, they would prefer to defer the hearing to discuss the sales agreement until October 4th in a final effort to establish full support for the sale of HUMC.

This delay means that a final closing may be pushed back until October 17th.� While it will be a financial challenge, we are confident that the hospital will be able to make it to the finish line.

Once we get to the end of this process, there are encouraging signs that virtually every current employee at HUMC will be there with us. We have just found out that 92 percent of current employees, and more than 90 percent of current union employees at the facility, have already accepted positions with the new buyer.

Here are the data:

  • Holdco offered positions to 1,127 current HUMC employees
  • Holdco received accepted offers from 1,124 current HUMC employees (99.7%)
  • Holdco received non-acceptance of offers from 2 current HUMC employees
  • 324 JNESO members at HUMC
  • 314 JNESO members applied for positions at Holdco
  • 285 JNESO members were offered positions at Holdco (91%)
  • 435 1199J members at HUMC
  • 432 1199J members applied for positions at Holdco
  • 400 1199J members were offered positions at Holdco (93%)

Free Garage Parking For Residents In Flood Prone Areas

The National Weather Service has issued a flood advisory for our area for Friday afternoon into Saturday. Due to the potential for flooding, the City of Hoboken is providing free parking in municipal Garage B (located on 2nd Street between Hudson and River streets) beginning Friday, September 23rd at 8AM through Saturday, September 24th at 8AM for residents who reside in flood prone areas and have a valid Resident parking permit or Temporary parking permit placard.

Residents who wish to extend their stay in the garage before and/or after the free parking period and who have a parking permit decal or Temporary parking permit placard are reminded that overnight parking (8pm to 8am) is available at a rate of $5.00. This rate is available in Garages B, D and Midtown every day of the year.

A map of flood-prone areas is available on the City website:

Letter from Mayor Zimmer Regarding Hoboken University Medical Center
Below is a letter from Mayor Dawn Zimmer to the City Council regarding Hoboken University Medical Center.

Dear Council members,

The negotiations to save HUMC (�Hospital�) have reached a critical juncture. For almost two years the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority (“HMHA”) has been working diligently to find a strategic alternative to ensure the long term viability of the Hospital and preserve this vital safety net that serves the City of Hoboken and surrounding communities. Since 2007, the Hospital�s management company, Hudson Health Care Inc.(“HHI”), incurred significant unsecured debts to vendors who provide products and services. HHI failed to provide HMHA with timely and accurate information regarding the true fiscal condition of the Hospital. In order to sell the Hospital and secure the future of health care services in Hoboken, retain over 1200 jobs and relieve the City of a bond guarantee of over $51 Million dollars, the Administration is putting forward tomorrow, on an emergency basis, a bond ordinance which is designed to put the City in a position to contribute funds to make a final offer to the HHI Creditors Committee so that HMHA and HHI can proceed with the sale of the Hospital. The City’s contribution, while not required under any law or legislation, is intended to contribute toward the funding necessary to save the Hospital.

The maximum amount that I believe is appropriate for the City to contribute is up to $5 million, and that is the funding authority that will be included in the ordinance to be presented tomorrow. Even if the full amount of this authorization were offered to the HHI Creditors Committee, there can be no assurance that they will accept a settlement on terms that can be achieved with this contribution.

Construction Work on Grand Street

The North Hudson Sewerage Authority will be replacing sections of the deteriorated wood sewers along Grand Street between 1st and 5th Streets. The repair work will require excavation within the roadway and will be performed in stages. The first stage will be between 4th and 5th Streets. Parking will be temporarily prohibited along this area for two weeks starting on Thursday, September 22, 2011. The work zone will also be subject to traffic detours during working hours. Grand Street will reopen to traffic during evening hours.

Novella Night to Support the Hoboken Library

Saturday, October 15, 2011. Cocktails, Hors d�Oeuvres, and More…

Join friends and neighbors at one of many fun, festive parties to be held in Hoboken–all to benefit the Hoboken Public Library. $75 per person (the ticket price is a donation to support the Library). RSVP by September 25. You will receive the location and time of your party by e-mail approximately one week prior to the event. For more information, please email or call 201-795-5410. Click here for additional details, including payment options.

Hurricane Irene Emergency Food Stamp Assistance & Help for Shelter

The Hudson County Division of Welfare will be at the Multi-Service Center (2nd St & Grand St) on Wednesday, September 14 to meet with Hoboken residents to distribute Disaster Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (DSNAP) Food Stamps (10:00 am-12:00 pm A-L and 1:00 pm-3:30 pm M-Z).

New Jersey residents who are not currently SNAP/Food Stamp recipients and suffered hurricane-related losses may apply for Disaster SNAP (DSNAP)/Food Stamp benefits. This program is not for existing recipients of food stamps. This a one-time payment on an ATM-like card that can be used at grocery stores for certain food purchases.

Hoboken To Host Fall Arts & Music Festival

Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the City of Hoboken are proud to host the Fall Arts & Music Festival on Sunday, September 25th (rain or shine) from 11am and 6pm. Admission is free.

The fair will take place on Washington Street between Observer Highway and 7th Street and will include over 300 artists, sculptors, photographers and craftspeople as well as rides, games, face painting, local businesses, restaurants, food vendors and much more.