Mayor Zimmer Asks City Council to Vote on Proposed Suez Water Agreement With $31M for Infrastructure Investments


Suez Water will be making a presentation to the City Council on leak detection technology that could prevent major water main breaks by detecting leaks early on. The proposed $2.5 million investment in the technology is part of the proposed amended agreement with Suez Water which includes a total of $31 million in infrastructure investments.

The Council agenda will also include a resolution to adopt the proposed agreement as well as an ordinance to mandate that funds received through the agreement be dedicated towards water main system improvements.

Hoboken’s existing agreement with Suez Water which extends through 2024 only requires Suez to make $350,000 per year in capital investments in the water system – less than the amount needed just to make emergency repairs. Under the existing agreement, the City is responsible for repairs exceeding $350,000 per year as well as excess bulk water costs as of 2014. The City’s current liability to Suez under the existing agreement is $8.35 million and is estimated to total $17.8 million through 2024.

The proposed agreement would extend the contract through 2034, forgive the existing liability, and provide an estimated $31 million investment in Hoboken’s water system. The proposed agreement would shift bulk water and capital repair costs from the taxpayer to the ratepayer.

“Given that the proposed agreement would provide $31 million for urgently needed infrastructure upgrades, I ask the City Council take a vote on this issue at their meeting next week so that my Administration can move ahead accordingly,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer.  “Under the existing agreement, the City – and by extension every taxpayer – is responsible for excess repair and bulk water costs. Ultimately, that means residents are footing the bill for car washes or laundromats that use millions of gallons of water, while the proposed agreement would make ratepayers responsible for their own water usage.”

The proposed agreement was introduced to the City Council on July 11th, presented and discussed at City council and subcommittee meetings, and the following provides the second set of responses to Council members’ questions regarding the proposed agreement:

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