Election Day, Tuesday November 5, is right around the corner. While much of the attention is on the City Council election, there are two important public questions on the ballot. Questions 1 & 2 concern our Municipal Open Space Trust Fund (OSTF).
At present, 2 cents per $100 of property taxes are devoted to our open spaces. To put a number on this for the owner of a home valued at $500,000, $100 of their tax dollars would go to the fund per year.
With respect to Question 1, it has been amended to allow for 75 percent of collected funds to be used for acquisition or construction. The other 25 percent would be used for Historic Preservation programs.
Question 2 increases the rate to 3 cents per $100 of assessed value or $150 for the owner of a $500,000 home.
Earlier this week, the Hoboken Historic Preservation Commission unanimously voted to endorse an affirmative vote on Questions 1 & 2.
We are very much in favor of this program. So much of what we love about Hoboken is its history and stories. Unfortunately, many of our public monuments have been neglected over the years. This was partly due to funding issues but also because there were no earmarked funds for this purpose.
One of the HPC’s priorities would be to conserve and restore our public sculptures. These monuments were dedicated to memorialize citizens and events in Hoboken and most are in need of attention. Funds from voting yes on Questions 1 & 2 would go a long way towards making this possible.
Over the next week, as you walk around Hoboken, take a moment to look at the Fireman’s Statue and the statue to Marconi in Church Square Park, our WW1 Memorial in Elysian Park, Sam Sloan in Warrington Plaza by the Terminal, or our Civil War Memorial in Stevens Park; all are in need of conservation and repair.
The HPC is working hard to retain Hoboken’s architectural and cultural heritage. Many cherish the walkability and 19th century aesthetics of our city. Additionally, these characteristics are what bring so many visitors here for shopping, entertainment and just to walk out streets. It is HPC’s goal to retain our unique character while promoting growth in our city. For these reasons, we urge you to vote YES on Questions 1 & 2 for a better Hoboken.
Steve Zane, Chairman
Hoboken Historic Preservation Commission