|FACT: Pump is UNDERGROUND, two above ground accessories: (1) one is 36"h x 36"w x 18"d, (2) the other accessory is 42"h x 8" dia.|
Boy, was that ever a 'special' meeting!
As you know, last night's Council meeting was called because neither Beth Mason nor Theresa Castellano would provide the 6th vote to green-light a low-interest loan for a flood pump (serving the ShopRite neighborhood).
But those 'NO' votes turned out to be serendipitous, because last night ALL of Hoboken got schooled on the proposed H5 Wet Weather Pump Station. Rumors were debunked, and Hoboken discovered how tiny the pump's footprint will actually be (Jim Doyle called the H5's two accessory structures no bigger than "suitcases.")
So, last night the room was packed with residents for and against funding the H5 Wet Weather Pump Station. (GA missed the first hour)
Richard Wolff, Director of the North Hudson Sewerage Authority (NHSA) explained:
- The 2 contaminants which the NHSA expects to find at the pump site are: (1) a chemical used in the processing of coffee at the former Maxwell House factory and (2) heavy metals. Neither are airborne, therefore cannot endanger residents during their removal. A possible third chemical, whose remediation was described as similar to asbestos- abatement; the area is kept wet as the material is safely removed- may exist. If found, it will be safely removed- like it was during the construction of Maxwell Place.
- The H5 pump is below-grade. There are only 2 above-ground accessory structures. They are a 36"h x 36"w x 18"d 'box' and a 42"h x 8"dia 'tube.' Maxwell Place will direct the landscaping around them.
- The H5 pump is located where it has to be to drain the 'ShopRite flood zone.' Wolff explained this to Engineer Mike Russo after Engineer Mike suggested moving the pump out of the flood district it serves. 'Engineer Mike' was told moving the pump north would require construction of 2 enormous holding tanks ("50 feet long...") and moving it west (into another residential neighborhood) would not properly drain the ShopRite area.
- The deadline to initiate the low-interest loan (GA heard "no interest") will close at the end of March 2015. Tick.. tick.. tick..
The vote would not have succeeded without his support; Timmy's was the 6th vote.
GA gives props to Tim.
Yep, you heard right.
The other surprise was last night's performance by Dave Mello. Yes, he voted the right way but...
...what the hell was that? I know Dave as a compassionate person, but last night his compassion seemed aligned with a privileged sector of Hoboken who do not need a pump to stay dry in the next flood. Mello appeared more concerned with the possibility that Maxwell tenants might have to subsidize the pump than with the huge swath of Hoboken (including ShopRite) that will be underwater AGAIN without it. I couldn't believe my ears when Dave wanted to know if the funding agreement could be pulled if the tenants were impacted with fees for the pump.
Pull the funding? Truly a 'WTF moment'.
In a prolonged scolding of the NHSA's "communication failure" that seemed (to me) more about political pandering to the Maxwell Place residents rather than trying to encourage them to trust that the process would be done safely and in the best interest of the ENTIRE Hoboken community, the Councilman appeared to suggest the DEP was a 'political' entity.
Really? In response, NHSA's chief engineer popped up to defend the DEP as scientists, engineers and professionals not motivated by politics.
GA doesn't get how coddling one group of residents serves the greater good of Hoboken; hundreds whose health and property are in jeopardy every time time the city floods. Poisonous blackwater washed through 1,800 Hoboken homes in 2012. The toxic mold grew in the walls of those homes, many with children. What about those kids?
Here's what my kid (and others all over flood-devastated Hoboken) were breathing, until we renovated:
|Toxic black mold behind the drywall in my living room|
|Toxic black mold covered my floor joists|
|My car taken for scrap metal- water running down the ramp|
So, pass me a frigging violin. I am appalled that some of our Hoboken neighbors do not see the urgency of protecting families from the next storm, and doing it NOW.