July 13, 2023

City of Hoboken secures financial relief following February water main break

Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla and the City of Hoboken today announced a settlement where J. Fletcher Creamer provides financial relief as well as a new contract agreement with Veolia with increased investments in Hoboken’s water main system. The financial relief follows the multi-day water main break and subsequent boil water advisory in February 2023.

As a part of the agreement, the City will leverage nearly $1 million in funding and services from J. Fletcher Creamer and Veolia to recoup the City’s emergency costs associated with the break. Additionally, through the City’s new amended contract with Veolia, Veolia will install over 200 new advanced leak detection monitors throughout the City’s water system at a cost of over $600,000, which was previously appropriated by the City. The monitors will identify leaks which can be repaired before they become costly water main breaks that disrupt service and residents' quality of life. Veolia will also add the services of a Smart Tech Advisor to the operating team for the City to process and analyze the data from the monitors in real time.

The City will also partner with the Hoboken Business Alliance to assist businesses for their losses throughout the duration of the emergency, and property owners who had physical property damage, through the establishment of a $300,000 grant program. The grant program, online application process and criteria will be announced in the coming weeks.

“I would like to thank our partners at J. Fletcher Creamer for working with the City over the past several months on a resolution to the water main break emergency that occurred last winter,” said Mayor Bhalla. “I also appreciate the amended contract with Veolia that will provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in new upgrades to our water main system, which will further invest in helping prevent water main breaks. I would also like to thank PSE&G for demonstrating responsible corporate citizenship, helping to ensure that Hoboken can move on in a way that supports the city. We look forward to our ongoing work with PSE&G and others to continue to enhance the city’s infrastructure.”

While J. Fletcher Creamer and PSE&G are both part of the settlement, PSE&G will not be providing any funds.

"J. Fletcher Creamer & Son is pleased to have reached a settlement with Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla and the City of Hoboken." said Martin Downs, President of J. Fletcher Creamer & Son. "We are proud to partner with the City of Hoboken and value the business relationship. We look forward to the infrastructure upgrades of which the City and residents will benefit greatly."

“PSEG values its long and productive relationship with the city of Hoboken,” said Rick Thigpen, senior vice president, Corporate Citizenship, PSEG. “We’re pleased the city was able to review the situation further and recognize our limited role. PSEG works hard to ensure that we are a valuable partner in the cities and towns where we do business helping to meet the needs of our diverse stakeholders. We continuously strive to be a positive force in the communities where we live and work.”

“The Hoboken Business Alliance is proud to work with the City of Hoboken to bring financial relief to the businesses impacted by the water main break earlier this year. When businesses were shuttered or struggling to operate without running water, the Hoboken Business Alliance (HBA) was on the ground with city officials to help our members operate safely and get back up and running as quickly as possible,” Roxanne Earley, Executive Director of the HBA said before expressing her appreciation to the Bhalla Administration for their support during and after the challenging time. “This settlement echoes our call for dedicated funding to make our businesses whole and recover from losses related to the break.”

"Through these innovative upgrades, Veolia looks forward to strengthening our partnership with the City of Hoboken," says Karine Rouge, CEO of Veolia North America's Municipal Water operations. "We see the operational challenges in Hoboken as an opportunity to implement cutting-edge technology in the field, and we will use all the tools at our disposal to manage the water system more efficiently and effectively on behalf of the residents we serve."

The City and Veolia are proactively making upgrades to Hoboken’s water infrastructure and will break ground on 1.4 miles of water main replacements this summer.

Once the City installs the new water mains, Hoboken will have replaced over 4.78 miles of water mains since 2018, representing approximately 11.6 percent of Hoboken water system.

By 2034, an additional 5 miles of water mains will be upgraded identified through an analysis conducted by the City. Once construction on these upgrades is complete, the City will have replaced approximately 25 percent of the City’s water system infrastructure, which is double the amount recommended by the American Water Works Association.

For more information on the City’s water main infrastructure upgrades, go to www.hobokennj.gov/resources/drinking-water-infrastructure-upgrades-phase-1.