HOBOKEN --The City Council will meet tonight at 7 p.m. to vote on two measures that could authorize the use of eminent domain to acquire park land in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th wards.
Specifically, the council could authorize the use of eminent domain for the acquisition of a roughly 1-acre parcel of land in the southwest section of the city. Mayor Dawn Zimmer said last month that the city’s negotiations with Ponte Equities, Inc., the private owner of the roughly 1-acre parcel of land, were "very far apart."
The council will also vote to introduce an ordinance that could, if fully adopted, authorize the use of eminent domain in the fifth and third wards, known as the Henkel/Cognis and Pino towing sites, respectively. If introduced, the ordinance will undergo a public hearing and a second vote for potential adoption.
Zimmer recently wrote an open letter to residents urging them to voice their support for the ordinances.
If the council does not acquire the parcel in a timely fashion, the city stands to lose a $3 million county open space grant given last year. The $3 million is part of a total $23 million grant that can be used to acquire open space.
Zimmer said in her letter that eminent domain authorization will "enable the City to conduct serious negotiations for these properties."
Also at the meeting...
The city council will also vote to adopt an ordinance that would expand the current Hop shuttle bus system.
According to officials, the $497,000 bond would be used to buy five new Hop shuttle buses and a “bucket truck” to help with the repair and installation of traffic signals. There are currently three Hop shuttle buses that travel along different routes throughout the city. The shuttles service three routes, which are indicated by the red, blue, and green signs that decorate each bus. Currently, the shuttles only travel weekdays and charge a $1 fare. The red route also operates as a daytime shuttle for senior citizens, who can ride free of charge.
The ordinance will need six votes – including one from the council minority, traditional opponents of Zimmer – to be adopted.
For the agenda, click here.
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