Hoboken rats, your days are numbered

The council also supported abortion rights and opposed a turnpike expansion

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The Hoboken City Council is taking aim at the city’s rat problem.

The council unanimously voted (August 10, with Councilman Michael DeFusco absent) on a resolution to award a $44,000 contract for rodent control services, and introduced an ordinance requiring rat control for demolitions in the city.

Paramount Exterminating is a pest control service based in Union City. The contract with the city will require them to create a sewer inlet baiting program, and Paramount will inspect and then install rat controls in catch basins, drainage areas and street dividers.

Paramount recommended follow-up services for one month, and that it should also be followed by quarterly visits or more as rat activity is observed or suspected.

The resolution says the city will fund the initial services and first month services at $35,140, and the council proposed the Hoboken Business Alliance to pay the quarterly services.

Under the ordinance, demolition of any property in the city requires permission from the city’s Health Officer, and will require rodent control.

Resident Nadja Rutkowski said that her neighbors had seen rats, including at a backyard on Fourth Street and near garbage cans around the corner of Grand Street. “It’s a rat-fest every, every night,” she said. “The dogs go crazy, the kids go crazy. It is an environmental absolute public problem here.”

In support of women’s health

The council unanimously passed a resolution declaring Hoboken as a abortion sanctuary city in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right to an abortion in June, as well as supporting a bill in Congress to extend abortion rights.

Resident Rachel Hodes spoke in support of the resolution, noting that as a recent mother that she faced the possibility of an abortion due to indications of possible genetic abnormalities.

“It’s important, for women’s health is not just about access,” she said. “It’s also about changing the conversation, from one of shame toward empowerment. So while we may not have the power to create federal policy or codify a national right to choose, you do have the power to do this.”

NO to Turnpike expansion

The council also unanimously supported a resolution opposing an expansion of the New Jersey Turnpike from Exit 14 in Newark to the Holland Tunnel in Jersey City, which has been criticized by environmental activists for potentially causing more car activity and pollution.

Jimmy Lee of SafeStreetsJC called the widening “out-of-date” and called for investments in mass transportation and safe streets instead.

“This project also just runs counter to all of our climate goals here in New Jersey to reduce emissions,” he said. “In terms of environmental justice, our ask here is so small. We just don’t want to make things worse.”

Lastly, a resolution unanimously passed will appoint Katie Morse to the city’s Cannabis Review Board. She joins Robert Davis and Gary Weinstein as the three new members of the board.

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.