Until further notice the Sinatra Park Soccer Field is closed and along with it, any hope for the fall soccer season, according to a City Hall statement issued on behalf of Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer Friday.
The repair’s cost now estimated to be in the millions range will require funding efforts pursued at the county, state and federal levels. The City is looking at those options along with a combination of private and public revenues. In the mayoral debate hosted by the Jersey Journal, Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer indicated the required maintenance on the park and the underlying decay caused by shipworms goes back to 1995 and is documented in city records. The video of those remarks along with how the other candidates would address revenue requirements to address the damage can be seen here.
The Acting Mayor has indicated on several occasions that structural and design problems have contributed to the current problems closing the use of the park several weeks back.
In related open space news, the statement also mentions developments on behalf of the 1600 Park/Hoboken Cove project.
The complete statement from City Hall follows at the jump.
Photo courtesy: NJ.com
Update on Sinatra Soccer Field from Mayor Dawn Zimmer
City of Hoboken, October 27, 2009 – After further analysis of Sinatra Field, Hoboken’s structural engineer determined that the field is presently not safe for public use. The field will remain closed for the fall season, and will not be usable until final repairs have been completed.
The safety of our community must always come first, and unfortunately, engineers have located additional structural damage after the first assessment. This is extremely disappointing for our active community.
As I have stated, this unfortunate situation has resulted from possible construction and design flaws, as well as the neglect of previous Administrations to address an erosion problem due to wood-boring shipworms.
Fortunately, our community has come together to develop interim measures. I want to thank Schools Superintendent Peter Carter, his Administrators, and the School Board for continuing to provide us with access to the high school field. We also thank Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner for offering us use of the Weehawken Township field, as well as Stevens Institute of Technology for providing access to their athletic facilities.
We have spoken to County, State and Federal representatives to explore funding commitments to remedy this situation, which is estimated to cost millions of dollars. I am committed to securing as much funding as possible and exploring all public and private venues so repairs can be completed as soon as possible.
I do feel for the families and active residents affected by this closure, but we must deal with the situation we have been presented with in a responsible, cost-effective way that will provide a long-term solution to this problem. We are doing everything possible to move this project forward and get our community back on the soccer field and waterfront walkway.
In the interim, I would like to reassure the public that the creation and preservation of open space will continue to be a priority of my Administration, even as we work to resolve the Sinatra Park issue.
I want to thank the City Council for moving forward on the 1600 Park/Hoboken Cove project and the southwest park at the last meeting. My administration has also reached out to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to ensure remediation of a brown field site in the northwest section of our City.