Wish list for open space funding Various towns will get $$$ from county for parks, recreation

For many Hudson County municipalities, Christmas comes in September, as officials from the county evaluate requests on proposed projects to be funded all or in part by the Open Space Trust Fund.

The fund, established after a referendum was passed in 2003, adds a penny tax for every $1,000 of assessed value of property in the county. The tax goes exclusively to fund open space acquisition, upgrades to parks and playgrounds, and historic preservation.

To this end, the Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund Advisory Board – made up of nine members – reviews, prioritizes, and recommends projects to receive funding.

This year, the trust fund is expected to give out more than $7 million to projects throughout Hudson County.

The board has recommended that the city of Hoboken receive $3 million for the purchase of what is called the Cognis site, from Adams to Madison Street and 11th to 14th streets, for the development of a park. That site once contained a chemical plant. The total cost of the project is expected to be about $12 million.

Also leading the scoring in this year’s list of projects is an endeavor to restore Ellis Island’s laundry and hospital building in Jersey City. The total project is expected to cost about $3.3 million. Save Ellis Island, Inc. requested $350,000 from the county. The board for the trust fund is recommending the project receive about $150,000 this year.

Jersey City’s Boyd McGuiness Park Expansion on Duncan Avenue is expected to receive $150,000. The Berry Lane Park expansion will likely receive $1.2 million. The trust fund is also expected to give Jersey City $100,000 to restore windows in its historic City Hall; $180,000 toward restoration of Loew’s Jersey Theater; $250,000 to the Caven Point Recreation Complex; and $250,000 to Hudson County Community College’s Culinary Arts Plaza on Sip Avenue. Speer Cemetery restoration will likely receive $25,000. The trust fund will also give $250,000 to help restore lighting at the Hudson County Court House.

Bayonne’s proposal to construct two soccer fields on the former Military Ocean Terminal land will likely receive $250,000 of the $650,000 it requested. The total cost of the project is about $1.5 million, according to the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority, who is overseeing the project. Bayonne is also expected to receive $100,000 for the restoration of its community museum.

Another project is the expansion of the Hackensack River Water Trail at Laurel Hill Park in Secaucus. The project, expected to cost slightly over $41,000, will likely receive slightly over $16,000 from the trust fund. This would install a floating dock system to facilitate access for canoe and kayak use at the park, and would serve as one stop in a 21-mile paddle trail along the river.

Guttenberg’s proposed waterfront park development is expected to receive $250,000. Two years ago, the town purchased property along River Road for the development of the park. It will include an amphitheater, playground, restrooms and an extension of the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway. The total cost of the project is about $870,000.

North Bergen is expected to receive $250,000 for its multi-parks playground project. North Bergen wants to renovate three parks located at 43rd Street, 82nd Street and 88th Street, and would replace playground equipment and play surfaces.

Union City is expected to receive about $250,000 for Doric Park Pool improvements that include new water features, landscaping, benches, and lighting. The total project is expected to cost about $6 million.

Weehawken will likely get $250,000 for its Waterfront Multi-Use Pavilion at the waterfront park on Port Imperial Boulevard. Phase II of the development includes an outdoor ice rink with surrounding deck and floor coverings for events, as well as basketball. This phase of the project is expected to cost a total of $1 million.

email to Al Sullivan


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