Hoboken says some compromise is possible with NY Waterway

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In a community message sent Friday, March 22, Mayor Ravi Bhalla updated the public on the city’s further negotiations with Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration and NY Waterway regarding the potential refueling station on Hoboken’s waterfront.

NY Waterway purchased the former Union Dry Dock property along Hoboken’s waterfront to become its new homeport for ferry maintenance and refueling.

Hoboken wants the property for public open space.

According to the message, Bhalla and the administration met with Gov. Murphy’s administration, Senator Brian Stack, and NY Waterway on March 15 which resulted in productive discussions.

“We were forthright with the Governor’s staff of the substantial environmental risks, among a host of other issues, should Union Dry Dock be turned into a refueling station,” said Bhalla in the message. “As I’ve stated previously, placing this refueling facility in the middle of a residential neighborhood would be an environmental disaster and would jeopardize the health and safety of our residents and visitors.”

He said while they have not yet come to a resolution he believes that the waterfront and the environment will be protected in the future.

He also said a compromise could be possible including partnering with NY Waterway to identify an appropriate location; to allow a temporary lease pending the development of an alternate location if necessary; and also purchasing the property for a fair price saving NJ Transit more than $11 million.

But, he said, the city would “not compromise the health and well-being of children and our families, and will not compromise on the detrimental impacts a refueling station would have on our waterfront.”

According to the message, NY Waterway has agreed to remove two ferry engines, two barges, pipes, and a vessel from the property.