Last night, the Hoboken City Council voted 8-0 to approve on first reading two ordinances authorizing Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla to enter into a renegotiated contract with SUEZ for operation of Hoboken’s water system, and to establish a new public water utility managed by the City of Hoboken. The final vote for both the approval of the contract and the public water utility will occur on second reading at the Council meeting on May 1.
“I thank the Council for the support for our updated contract and water utility,” said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. “If approved at the next meeting, Hoboken will see an unprecedented $33 million invested into our water main system over the next 15 years, an average of six times more than the current contract. Instead of the revenue from the system going to SUEZ with only minimal repairs required, it would be directly invested through the City into proactive upgrades. It is my hope the Council will provide unanimous support for final approval at the next meeting.”
If approved by the Council, the new public water utility would be managed by the City, with the majority of revenue directly invested into water main upgrades. SUEZ would continue to maintain and operate the water system, however all revenues generated from water bills would be invested by the City as opposed to SUEZ. According to the terms of the current contract, SUEZ is currently only required to provide $350,000 per year in repairs, which is not sufficient to even fund emergency repairs.
Additionally, the contract calls for $2 million in smart technology to monitor water consumption, which would save Hoboken ratepayers from paying for costly leaks.
If approved on May 1, the revised contract and City managed public water utility would go into effect on July 1. Instead of the revenue from the system going to SUEZ with only minimal repairs required, it would be directly invested through the City into proactive upgrades.