HOBOKEN - The administration of Mayor Dawn Zimmer now has $20 million approved by the City Council to acquire park space throughout the city of Hoboken.
The City Council voted unanimously to approve bonding from the Open Space Trust Fund for future park acquisitions on Wednesday night.
On March 2, the council voted 5-4 to pass the bonding ordinance, and on Wednesday night, all of the council members agreed to vote "yes" on the same ordinance.
Members who voted no on first reading emphasized on Wednesday that they were not against parks, but said they hoped the specific locations would be available, and that the issue shuld have first been discussed in sub-committee. They said they changed their votes to a yes on second reading after more discussion with Zimmer.
Zimmer has said nothing is different on the ordinance from the first reading.
Now that the money is approved, the administration now has the opportunity to negotiate for park space throughout the city. Zimmer has said a focus of the new park space would be on the city's western side, and provided council members with potential, general areas for park acquisition.
Recently, all of the council candidates backed by Zimmer also came out in support of the parks plan. The issue has been particularly heated because of the six ward elections scheduled for May 10, with all sides trying to speak out for more open space, a popular talking point among candidates.
Although the bond doesn't allow for the purchase of a specific park, the mayor can negotiate for a space, knowing how much money is available. However, she still needs to return to the council to ask permission for a purchase once specific sites are identified.
For much more on the council meeting, stay with HudsonReporter.com and pick up a copy of The Hoboken Reporter this weekend. - Ray Smith