This weekend Hoboken got a preview of what the next few years are going to look like. Did you read the "proposal" in the Hoboken Reporter?
Get used to it!
Expect 'Boss' Russo and Mini-Me Ramos to latch on to issues of public concern, twist facts like licorice, and solve them with cotton candy.
Their first policy roll-out: a 5 year plan to "fix our water infrastructure."
Boss and Mini-Me propose using $2 million/year (approx) from the surplus, with "contributions" from SUEZ, and "bonding a portion" for "a simple and economical solution providing much needed improvements without breaking the bank."
Ummm.... are they kidding?
|Boss Russo and Mini Me Ramos solve Hoboken's water supply infrastructure crisis|
Doesn't one need a plan before one knows what one is doing, when one needs to do it and how much it will cost?
Wouldn't one want input from engineers with expertise in design/repair of a city's water supply infrastructure to determine what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and how to do it, which all drives the cost?
Jeez, I think the supplemental budget Boss Russo presented on a napkin at the City Council made more sense.
Now, the Boss and Mini Me (B&MM) have hit on a critical issue that hopefully, the new Council will address immediately.
But, GA would suggest to avoid looking silly next time, Boss and Mini Me refrain from bursting out of the gate with a numb-nuts 'solution' to a complex problem. STOP getting your 'proposals' from political strategists.
Enough already. THINK. WORK.
No need to showboat, just do your job.
For anyone who has lived here for at least a decade, busted water mains in Hoboken are nothing new. An article by the talented Ray Smith in 2011 discussed the recurrent problem:
United Water has run the city’s water infrastructure since signing a 1994 contract with the city. As part of the contract, United Water is required to contribute $350,000 annually for capital improvements to the water infrastructure. The contract is in effect until 2024.Well folks, B&MM are correct- the city needs to take action to prevent future disruption in our city's water supply.
United Water receives approximately $8 million in annual revenue and has approximately $4 million in annual expenses, according to a letter from United Water to Zimmer.
Zimmer said the contract between United Water and the city of Hoboken is “a challenge” for the city.
“We sold the rights to our water main system for $13.2 million,” Zimmer said. “In exchange we get $350,000 a year in improvements and they get $4 million in revenue.”
The contract was signed by former Mayor Anthony Russo to fill a gaping municipal budget deficit.
Zimmer called the contract short-sighted, and was disappointed that the revenues are going to United Water and not the city of Hoboken.
...Beginning in 2014, the $350,000 in capital improvement funds can increase if the consumer price index spikes.
The water main system is distinct from the city’s combined sewer system, which is operated by the North Hudson Sewerage Authority. The combined sewer system is for rainwater drainage and sewage.
Even if it costs more than "2 MILLION DOLLARS... muaaa ha ha ha ha!"