Hoboken and Water Firm Spar Over Main Ruptures

The Hoboken, N.J., city council voted unanimously on Sept. 5 to replace Suez Water Environmental Services, the Paramus, N.J.-based water system operator, as its water service provider after a series of water main breaks around the city.

That action follows a late August  lawsuit filed in Hudson County Superior Court that claims that Suez has been “woefully inadequate” in efforts to repair or prevent future main breaks. The suit cites the firm’s capital improvement projects that began in June for the accelerated number of breaks this summer. 

Mayor Ravinder Bhalla said at an August press conference that there had been 17 breaks in 64 days. According to an nj.com report,  Suez responded that the legal action ws a “waste of time, money and energy that could be better used for solving the real problem causing water main breaks in Hoboken,” which it claims is infrastructure dating to the late 1800s and is the city’s responsibility.

The city said it is developing a rebid proposal to seek bids for a new service provider by late October if the state approves the contractor switch. Suez, formerly United Water, has held a water services contract with Hoboken since 1994.

P3s Expand in New Jersey

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) in August signed a bipartisan bill that broadens public-private partnership investments beyond secondary-education structures to other infrastructure, including possible highway projects in the state. Industry groups had worked with state Sen. Stephen Sweeney (D) to structure the legislation, which he said “enables P3s to provide new project financing avenues while adhering to the strictest standards of transparency.”

From Brooklyn to the U.K.

Canal City, proposed by New York City-based architect Cheyenne Lau to address coastal flooding and reinvigorate the Coney Island section of  Brooklyn through sustainable and resilient design, will represent North America in the Cities for our Future competition, sponsored by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which is based in the U.K. Lau’s proposal is one of 12 shortlisted ideas from 1,200 submissions to the competition. Semifinalists have been paired with a RICS mentor to develop ideas for the final judging; these will address issues such as rapid urbanization, climate change and resource scarcity. The overall winner will be named in November and awarded £50,000, or about $66,355.

On the Web

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