Hudson River waterfront walkway

By Gregory S. Franz

Through the efforts of residents at several river side developments who suffered damage to the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway as a result of Hurricane Sandy, a multi-jurisdictional and county initiative has been started in an effort to bring attention to the damage that was suffered to the walkway.  Mayor James Delaney feels so passionately about this topic that he addressed a letter to the Mayors of North Bergen, West New York, Guttenberg, Weehawken, Jersey City and Bayonne as well as the Hudson and Bergen County Executive’s.  At issue are the millions of dollars the state is providing to shore towns for beach repair and replenishment while Bergen and Hudson County towns are left helpless to repair a damaged walkway required by the state and not even owned by a local government.  That’s right, the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway is mandated by the state and owned and maintained by the individual property owners, not the towns.  Regardless, this access to the Hudson River should be considered the same as a jersey shore beach and funding should be made available for not only repair, but also a long term solution to the deterioration of the shoreline.  As a result of this, at the February 19 Council meeting, Mayor Delaney endorsed the hiring of Witt Associates, a disaster recovery firm operated by former Federal Emergency Management Agency Director James Witt.  The proviso is that it should not cost the Borough any money and he directed the Borough Attorney and Administrator to attempt to negotiate an agreement whereby Witt will receive a percentage of any funds secured and not pay an upfront retainer.

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