Although I missed the Republican candidates battle each other during the presidential debate last night, I got to see our own spirited debate at the Hoboken City Council meeting over the acquisition of 6 acres (commonly known as the BASF site) for parks, public parking and flooding mitigation...
The 6 acre site is 2 full city blocks covering the area between 12th to 13th and Adams to Madison (crossing Jefferson in the middle). By an ultimate vote of 6-3, the City Council approved moving forward to acquire the site to be developed as a public park and municipal garage and to be improved for flooding mitigation. Great outcome for our Hoboken community.
1st Ward Councilwoman Castellano and 3rd Ward Councilman Russo dissented on the funding, with Russo citing a preference for development. And then on the Eminent Domain vote, they were joined by Mason (who had approved the funding).
For those who are on Facebook, the video below is of me speaking last night at the City Council meeting with regard to this topic. In case you are not interested in watching me (I wasn't either actually), my position is as follows:
- Eminent Domain is best used for community amenities.
- Fiscally responsible bonding is best used for long term community benefits.
- A 6 acre park with a new municipal parking lot in this corner of Hoboken is a major, long term, community benefit.
- The flood mitigation improvements planned for this site are necessary, long term community requirements.
- And the environmental concerns surrounding the site, according to the Administration, are mitigated because the liability to remediate will be born by the selling party.
I spoke after 5th Ward Council candidate Eduardo Gonzalez who opposed the acquisition indicating a preference for more residential development instead. Peter Cunningham, who is currently the 5th Ward Councilman strongly supports the plan. 1st Ward Council candidate Mike Defusco spoke after me and also spoke in favor of the acquisition. As mentioned above, Terry Castellano, long time 1st Ward Councilwoman, voted against.