Hoboken City Council approves partnership for new EV charging stations

The council also approved a contract for a resiliency park concept design and a cannabis board appointment

The Hoboken City Council at their July 20 meeting at City Hall. Photo by Mark Koosau.

The Hoboken City Council has voted to approve a partnership to provide more than two dozen new electric vehicle charging stations, awarded a contract for a resiliency park concept design, and approved an appointment to the city’s Cannabis Review Board.

An electrifying deal

The council unanimously voted (with Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher absent) to approve a contract with EV charging company Volta to install and operate 25 EV charging stations throughout the city at no cost.

The resolution states that Volta will install at least 17 Level 2 EV charging stations and eight DC Fast EV charging stations, which will bring the total number of ports in the city to 47. It also states that it will mean that nearly every household in the city will be within a five minute walking distance from an EV station.

According to a press release issued by the city the morning after, the Level 2 stations can add about 20 to 25 miles of range per hour, while the DC stations can charge a vehicle’s battery from 20 to 80 percent in about 30 minutes.

Councilman Joe Quintero called the Volta partnership “a win-win” for the city. Photo by Mark Koosau.

Volta and the city will work to locate the charging stations, which will have to be approved by the City Council. Volta will also pay the city a monthly rental fee of $325 per media-enabled charging port, which is estimated to generate up to $89,700 in annual revenue once all stations are installed and activated for public use.

Volta will also offer discounted advertising space on charging stations that include ads displays to small businesses within the city. The city also said that they will receive a share of advertising screen time to promote city events, provide transportation info, and more.

“It’s a win-win for the city,” said Councilman Joe Quintero. “We’ll get $2.5 million worth of infrastructure [at] no cost to us. It’s gonna really put us at the forefront of recharging, and a day like today, climate change is real. This is part of the solution; it’s a drop in the bucket, but in the aggregate, it’s how we get there.”

Contract awarded for resiliency park concept design

The council also unanimously voted to approve a $551,855 contract with AECOM for the concept design of a resiliency park at 800 Monroe St.. The city had initially announced a search for a consultant for the park back in December.

According to a concept design by AECOM attached to the resolution dated to March of 2022, their concept designs for the park include either a concrete stormwater storage vault, a  stormwater detention grid, or a “sponge” consisting of coarse aggregate void space in the existing site cap.

Council President Michael Russo says he’s supportive of the idea for a city pool at the 800 Monroe St. resiliency park. Photo by Mark Koosau.

12 firms had submitted proposed to the city, according to a memorandum by Supervising Planner Jessica Giorgianni, from which the Bhalla administration selected AECOM and asked the council to award them the contract.

“This is a piece of property in the 3rd Ward that I’ve been advocating for years to make sure that we had access to it in the form of open space,” said Russo.

With Councilmen Ruben Ramos and Phil Cohen, Russo also supported the idea of having a city pool there. “As long as the residents in the city will have another open space to utilize is our first and foremost goal,” he continued.

New cannabis board appointments

The council unanimously voted to appoint former Housing Authority Chairman Robert Davis to the Cannabis Review Board. Also part of the agenda was a memorandum from July 14 acknowledging the appointment of Gary Weinstein, a member of the Last Prisoner Project’s legal committee, to the board by Mayor Ravi Bhalla.

Davis and Weinstein are the newest additions to the board after the council approved its expansion from three members to seven; four of the new members will be Hoboken residents, with two appointed by the mayor and the other two appointed by the City Council.

Weinstein had already made his debut with the board this Monday when they approved an application from Terrapin Care Station for a recreational use dispensary.

Beforehand, the board consisted of Business Director Jason Freeman, City Council President Michael Russo, and Health and Human Services Director Leo Pellegrini. The expansion of the board was one of many legislative responses to the backlash to an application by Story Dispensary that some uptown residents oppose.

For updates on this and other stories, check hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Mark Koosau can be reached at mkoosau@hudsonreporter.com or his Twitter @snivyTsutarja.