Bayonne Briefs

A large tree in Gregg Park was torn down by gusty winds on Sunday, Feb. 26.
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A large tree in Gregg Park was torn down by gusty winds on Sunday, Feb. 26.

Bayonne house and condo sales jump in third quarter

The average sale price for condos and co-ops hit an all-time high of $247,000 in Bayonne in the third quarter of 2018, up 57 percent from second quarter, according to a report from Pure Properties. That number dipped 29 percent in the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter the sale price for one-to-four family houses averaged $429,000, up three percent from the third quarter. The data is consistent with a trend of rising property values in the area but should be taken with a grain of salt and in context of the broader hosing market. After all, there were only nine condo transactions in the fourth quarter.

Rents, on the other hand, have stayed fairly consistent, averaging $1,630 per month, up two percent from last year. While rental rates remain consistent, the time it takes a property owner to find a tenant is shortening as listings spend an average of 38 days on the market – a 13 percent decrease since last year.

Costco to officially open on March 7

Costco Wholesale warehouse will officially open on March 7 when the company and Bayonne city officials will hold a ribbon-cutting for the 148,000-square-foot warehouse and gas station on Route 440 between Goldsborough Drive and 40th Street, according to a Costco representative. The project was first announced in November of 2017; the warehouse and gas station were constructed over the course of a year.

High winds take down large tree in Gregg Park

Wind gusts as high as 50 miles per hour took down a large oak tree in Gregg Park on Sunday, Feb. 24. Gusts were powerful enough to rattle windows and send trash cans flying, but a tree this size should have been able to withstand those winds. Some observers noted that the tree had barely any root plant, which is the part of the root system (excluding the small outermost roots) needed to keep a tree wind-firm.

Bayonne Medical Center to host a colorectal cancer awareness event

On Wednesday March 13, as part of CarePoint Health’s Cancer Committee Initiatives, Bayonne Medical Center will host a panel discussion on colorectal cancer awareness.  The event is free and open to the public.

Bayonne Medical Center physicians, nutritionists, and medical staff will discuss colorectal cancer and how a simple colonoscopy screening can save lives.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths, affecting men and women of all ages and ethnic groups. Early diagnosis is the key to survival. The goal is to spread awareness to the community in order to help patients practice prevention.

This event will have a question-and-answer session after the discussion. A light dinner will be provided. Attendees will be provided with free take-home stool-screening kits.

HCCC begins construction of its first student center

At its January 2019 meeting, the Hudson County Community College (HCCC) Board of Trustees approved funding for construction of a new student center, set to open in January of 2020.

The Student Center will be at 81 Sip Ave. on the HCCC Journal Square Campus in Jersey City. That location is owned by HCCC but has been offline since the fall 2017 opening of the college’s new, state-of-the-art STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) building. The construction work will include complete demo/renovation of the approximately 26,000-square-foot, two-story building which has a mezzanine level and basement. Plans call for the installation of new HVAC systems, sprinklers, elevators, emergency generator, and a direct, indoor connection joining the student center to the neighboring HCCC Gabert Library. The roof will also be replaced. Work on the building will begin this month.

New Jersey property taxes average one percent

It’s no surprise that New Jersey’s property taxes are the highest in the nation, but new data from the state Department of Community Affairs reveals town-by-town disparities. The average bill rose less than 1 percent ($8,767) since 2017, and 15.7 percent since 2010. Bayonne, meanwhile, has a property tax rate of $8.45 per $100 of assessed value and an average annual tax bill of $10,425. Since 2010, Bayonne’s tax rate increased by 23.8 percent – 8 percent higher than state average.

Experts warn about virus-carrying mosquitoes in New Jersey

Mosquito season is getting longer, experts say, and there’s reason to take precautions. A warming climate is bringing virus-carrying mosquitoes to New Jersey a week earlier this year (in April), and they’ll be staying a week longer (until October), according to NJ Spotlight. In addition to using insect repellent, residents should make sure to dump out containers with standing water (e.g. pet bowls, bird baths).

Lawmakers seek to cut ‘excess’ pharmacy charges

Last week, the state Senate unanimously approved a bill that would prohibit insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers from charging prescription copayments that are higher than the cash price one would pay for that medication. The measure targets a scheme used by pharmacy benefit managers and insurers to limit what consumers can know about lower-price options, a strategy that, like gag orders, would be illegal under the bill. Now, the bill will move to the Assembly.

Second Rutgers student diagnosed with meningitis

In the last month, two students at Rutgers New Brunswick have been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, a contagious and serious disease caused by various strains of meningococcal bacteria. It’s unclear whether the two cases are connected; public health officials are conducting tests.

Venezuelans in New Jersey watch, wait, and send home hope

Amid a rapidly-changing crisis in Venezuela, New Jersey residents with ties to the country are watching with hope and sending food and medication to family back home, Monsy Alvarado reports for the Record. “It’s a fight that we’ve been waiting for, for a really long time, and it’s the first step to begin to reconstruct and be the country we once were,’’ Lodi resident Angelica Gallardo, who moved to New Jersey from Venezuela eight years ago, told The Record.

New Jersey inching closer to retirement plan for private workers

The state Assembly passed a bill that, if signed by Gov. Phil Murphy, would implement a retirement savings plan program for private-sector workers. New Jerseyans working at companies with 25 or more employees would be automatically enrolled. The automatic-enrollment  requirement was criticized by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.

New Jersey residents rate quality of life at three-decade low

Monmouth University released an annual poll last week detailing what New Jerseyans think of their state. The director of Monmouth’s Polling Institute called it a “precipitous drop from any prior reading.” The opinion is split: for example, residents earning less than $50,000 per year rated the state 10 points higher (57 percent) than those making more than $50,000. The poll surveyed 604 people.

800 more car-charging stations coming statewide

There are currently 786 charging outlets for electric cars statewide. Thanks to $3.2 million in funding from the state’s settlement with Volkswagen, 827 new outlets will be installed soon. Officials announced the first round of electric charging stations funding ($10.8 million total) last week, with Jersey City and Hudson County making the list. The funds will be used to purchase and install outlets in 55 municipalities and counties, at NJ Transit train stations, public parking lots and garages, apartment and condominium complexes, car-share services, hotels, private companies, and nonprofit organizations.

The state will also spend $8 million to buy eight electric NJ Transit buses for the city of Camden, officials at the state Department of Environmental Protection said. The exact locations of the stations have not yet been determined. New Jersey currently has 786 charging outlets at 322 locations.

Wanaque Center leaders faulted in scathing report

The Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation has announced it will “vigorously dispute” a federal report prepared by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that says the adenovirus outbreak that killed 11 children in its facility spread because the center didn’t react quickly enough, according to The Record. “I knew we had a problem after the fourth death,” a doctor told inspectors. It took over five more weeks — Nov. 12 — before the outbreak was controlled.

NJ Senate passes donor disclosure ‘dark money’ bill

The NJ Senate passed ‘dark money’ legislation that would require any 501(c)(4) group donating more than $3,000, and individuals contributing more than $10,000, to reveal themselves, and formally disclose their identities, according to NJTV News. New Direction New Jersey, for example, spent around $500,000 to promote Gov. Phil Murphy’s policy agenda. It’s hotly-contested legislation: the ACLU has threatened a lawsuit on free speech grounds. It was fast-tracked by Senate President Steve Sweeney in January. Now, it moves to the Assembly.