The Bayonne City Council granted two 25-year payment in-lieu-of taxes (PILOT) to the Alessi Organization, a Bayonne-based developer, for two residential buildings that can see as many as 300 new units.
One development, called “Peninsula View,” will be seven stories and located between 31st and 32nd Streets on the western side of Route 440, across from the South Cove Commons Plaza, which Alessi also developed; he is looking to add a hotel to the South Cove Plaza. The project is in the very early stages. The number of total units will depend on how much land Alessi is able to purchase from neighboring property owners.
The other development, called “Standard Lofts,” is a 10-story, 125-unit residential building on Avenue E near 19th Street to be developed by the Alessi Organization. Both developments are in what Bayonne’s recently updated Master Plan calls “transit villages,” which are within a quarter mile of light rail stations. Buildings taller than seven stories are considered “catalyst” projects, which are encouraged near transit stations. The East Side neighborhood, sometimes referred to as the “loft” district, will see eight new large residential buildings constructed in the coming two years.
The city council has approved more than 35 PILOTs and tax abatements. The new developments will have sheltered parking structures to reduce the on-street parking. Both projects will go before the Planning Board in early 2018.
First phase of Dennis Collins Park improvements complete
The reconstruction of Dennis Collins Park on First Street is nearly finished. The project is operating in phasesso that parts of the park remain open while another part of the park is under construction.
A new playground structure in the shape of a boat has been installed with playground equipment, including tot swings and swings that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). ADA-compliant, bonded rubber play surfacing has been installed in tot lot play areas. The other new playground equipment includes dual beam Kid Koaster, a standing rocker, a custom play structure, and a Volta Inclusive Spinner.
New exercise equipment has been installed along the waterfront, including ellipticals, steppers, and various workout devices. The two existing tennis courts have been refurbished. Court improvements include repaving, color surfacing, nets, and fencing. A new cornhole (bean toss) area has also been installed near the new playground area
Collins Park now has a volleyball facility that has been upgraded and relocated. Two dog parks have been renovated and relocated, with one facility for large dogs and another for small dogs. Dog park features include K-9 grass; a sprinkler system to clean the surface; dog fountains; waste stations; various kinds of dog equipment; and fencing.
The revamped park has a stamped patio area with a raised portion of the patio facing the Bayonne Bridge. Benches surround the perimeter while chairs have been installed on the interior. This location will be used for Yoga and Zumba classes, and can also accommodate other public gatherings.
New trees, benches, picnic tables, water fountains, and asphalt walking paths have been placed throughout the park. Two solar charging stations with an additional station are set to be added in the spring. The park also has refurbished restrooms near Joe Tagliareni Memorial Field.
“Since taking office in 2014, our administration has made the improvement of our municipal parks a top priority. They are very popular assets in our community,” said Mayor James Davis in a press release. “By making uses of funding from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Hudson County Open Space Fund, the City of Bayonne has upgraded many aspects of the park while adding new features.”
Prosecutor’s office investigating dead body found in Bayonne apartment
A dead body was found in an apartment last week at 820 Avenue C and is under investigation by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, according to Director of Communications Raymond Worrall. The prosecutor’s office said the death is not considered suspicious at this time.
Wind turbine again has issues
The wind turbine has been in and out of operation in the last few weeks after city officials heard an unusual noise coming from the turbine. When the turbine’s manufacturer inspected the turbine, it did not hear a noise and has been monitoring it ever since, according to Tim Boyle, Executive Director of the Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority.
“It’s like when your engine makes a weird noise, and as soon as you take it to the mechanic it stops making that noise,” Boyle said. “As of now, my understanding is that it’s working fine.”
90 percent of Americans have a high school diploma, new data shows
The U.S. Census Bureau released new data that shows an all-time high in Americans 25 years and older with at least a high school diploma. According to the data, 90 percent of Americans 25 and older have high school diplomas, a six-point increase since 2000. Meanwhile, 35 percent have at least a bachelor’s degree, a nine-point increase.
PSE&G to inspect gas meters in Hudson County
Public Service Electric & Gas Company (PSE&G) will be inspecting natural gas meters in Hoboken, Weehawken, and West New York to ensure the continued safety and reliability of gas services.
“Customer safety is our number one priority,” said Joe Forline, vice president of gas operations for PSE&G. “It’s important for us to conduct safety inspections like these so that we can check for surface corrosion, leaks and other conditions that might require attention or repair.”
If a customer’s meter is inside, someone over the age of 18 will need to give our technicians access to the meter for a visual inspection. Meters that are located outside will also be inspected. Although technicians will be on your property, customers do not need to be home for outside meter inspections.
Some important information to keep in mind is that the inspection is free and will take about ten minutes; customers do not need to make an appointment; unless a meter requires immediate repair, there will be no interruption to service; service will not be turned off during the inspection due to billing status.
PSE&G reminds customers to always ask for identification when a utility worker comes to the door. Employees carry a PSE&G photo identification badge, wear PSE&G logo apparel and drive PSE&G cars or trucks. If a customer is concerned in any way, they should call PSE&G’s customer service line at 800-436-PSEG (7734) to verify the identity of an employee.
Bon Jovi to be inducted into Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame
In an honor that many music fans say is long overdue, Bon Jovi has been voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Rolling Stone reports. The NJ rock band has sold more than 130 million records, and its last four new albums have reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Keyboardist David Bryan joked, “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame carrier pigeon dropped by my house and delivered the note.”
NJ has largest black-white infant mortality gap in the country
In New Jersey, babies born to African-American women are more than three times as likely to die before their first birthdays as those born to white women, no matter what their mothers’ income level or educational attainment, according to new health assessment data from the NJ Department of Health. The racial disparity is larger in New Jersey than in any other state and shows no sign of shrinking, according to a report from The Record.
County to establish stigma free zone to combat veterans’ suicides
At its Dec. 7 meeting the Board of Freeholders designated Hudson County as a Stigma Free Zone to combat veteran suicide.
The Department of Veterans Affairs reports that an average of 20 veterans die by suicide each day. The department says it is committed to providing timely access to high quality, recovery-oriented mental health care that anticipates and responds to veteran’s needs, such as treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorders, depression and suicidal ideation. Mental health disorders, including major depression and other mood disorders, have been associated with increased risk for suicide.
The VA says it is committed to identifying and reaching all veterans who may be at risk for suicide and recognizes that eliminating the burden of suicide among veterans will require participation from a broad group of federal and local government and community partners.
The VA says it has developed innovative strategies to find and help veterans at risk for suicide through community based collaborations and expanded supportive services.
Catholic Charities Services is spearheading the effort in New Jersey to form community based collaborations and wishes to partner with Hudson County to create an initiative that aims to create cultures of caring wherein individuals who live with mental illness or substance use disorders feel supported in seeking treatment rather than suffering in silence (the “Stigma Free Initiative”).
The mission of Stigma Free Initiative is aligned with the VA’s goal of connecting veterans to essential mental health treatment to reduce the risk of suicide and increase quality of life.
The county’s Department of Health and Human services will pursue a Stigma Free Initiative and will raise awareness of resources available to veterans through the VA and beyond in an effort to reduce the risk of suicide and enhance the quality of life of the individuals who served our country.
Hoboken SantaCon leads to arrests, injuries, and a petition
On Saturday Dec. 16 Hoboken was flooded with men and women dressed as Santa, his elves, and reindeer during the annual bar crawl in the Mile Square City known as SantaCon.
According to tweets from Hoboken's Chief of Police Ken Ferrante, the day resulted in bars being closed due to over occupancy and at least 17 arrests, 55 people transported to the local hospital, 32 moving violations issued, and 52 tickets issued for drinking and urinating in public.
According to the tweets "one officer was punched in the face, one was spit on and one had blood get onto her hands. No victims or suspects sustained serious injuries even though there were many fights thru day & night!"
Mayor-elect Ravi Bhalla said he would explore ways to end the bar crawl in the future and urged people to sign a petition asking bars not to participate.
He tweeted "Enough is enough with SantaCon - in addition to exploring legislative options, please consider signing this petition which we will deliver to the participating bar owners, letting them know this event is NOT acceptable in Hoboken."
The petition had 446 signatures as of Monday morning.