Bayonne City Council Advances Waterfront Access and Community Projects Amid Funding Challenges

At a recent Bayonne City Council meeting, community development projects were at the forefront, with the council advancing the North Bay Waterfront Access Project Phase 2, discussing plans for a new dog park, addressing the construction of a fishing and observation pier, and debating the extension of the boardwalk to Robins Reef. The council also navigated issues regarding property acquisitions for park expansions and updates on various park development projects throughout Bayonne.

The North Bay Waterfront Access Project Phase 2 was a central topic, as the council discussed the timely submission of an application for funding from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Green Acres Program. The project is set to enhance the 16th Street Park with a new boardwalk, fishing and observation pier, boat ramp, landscaping, lighting, and Shoreland Wetland improvements, with an estimated cost of $2.65 million. The mayor acknowledged the efforts made by the council and community, including input from the Boy Scouts, who petitioned for the project. The council’s conversation underscored the importance of evaluating recreational and open space inventory and the examination of all proposed projects.

Another prominent issue was the proposal for a temporary dog park at the upper level of 16th Street, with longer-term plans for a permanent facility. Director Tommy Carter outlined the city’s vision for the dog run and the intention to seek grant funding for the full-fledged park. Council members and the public expressed a sense of urgency for the project.

The meeting also addressed the construction of a fishing and observation pier, prompting questions about dimensions, funding, and timelines.

Councilman Loyad Booker highlighted the ongoing considerations for a pocket park on 19th Street and Avenue C, discussing ownership and development issues that could impact neighborhood safety and well-being.

Councilwoman Jacqueline Weimmer brought attention to the acquisition of additional property for park expansion, noting bureaucratic complexities and the need for ownership. She mentioned potential funding sources, including the Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund, reflecting on the difficulties of managing various funding options and ensuring timely project applications.

Complexities surrounding the Cottage Street project were also discussed, with Weimmer addressing state concerns over timelines and funding. The need for updated documentation and the possibility of securing a letter from the state to safeguard funding for 2025 were key points of discussion.

Updates on the Russell Golding Park were presented by Director Carter and Engineer Rob Russo, including the announcement of a substantial grant and a collaboration with Hudson County Open Space. The importance of adhering to HUD EDI Grant deadlines for the park’s 10th-anniversary commemoration in 2025 was underscored.

The council engaged in a discussion over the proposal to extend the boardwalk to Robins Reef. While some members, like Rich Matelski, argued the funds could be better allocated to other projects, Councilman Booker and others supported the extension, citing its potential to attract visitors and contribute to the state-mandated goal of a continuous walkway from the George Washington Bridge to the Bayonne Bridge. The council also tackled the construction of additional fishing piers and the possibility of establishing a kayak house, addressing accessibility concerns for individuals with disabilities and the practicality of proposed projects.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Jimmy Davis
City Council Officials:
Neil Carroll III, Jacqueline Weimmer, Gary La Pelusa Sr., Loyad Booker, Juan M. Perez

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