Hoboken 9/11 Memorial Delayed Again
The city doesn't yet have a permanent memorial to remember those lost in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
Nearly 12 years after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, a memorial for the 57 Hoboken residents who died on 9/11 has been delayed once more.
Unable to come to an agreement on Wednesday night about approving a $500,000 bond for construction on the proposed memorial on Pier A Park, the measure failed.
Director of Community Development Brandy Forbes told the council the money was necessary to buy new glass panels — the ones purchased in 2006 aren’t resistant to major weather events such as hurricanes — and complete the design.
“This is an abomination to the families who lost loved ones,” said Third Ward Councilman Michael Russo, “Everyone here should be ashamed of themselves.”
Forbes explained the process of the negotiations with the 9/11 memorial committee to the city council on Wednesday night. The committee is a group assembled after the attacks in 2001, with the goal of designing and agreeing upon a permanent memorial.
“I think it’d be extremely disingenuous to not move on this tonight,” said Council President Peter Cunningham.
A stalemate ended the conversation and the vote failed after half the council — consisting of Cunningham, Jen Giattino, Ravi Bhalla and David Mello — voted “yes” to approve the bond, while the other half — consisting of Russo, Tim Occhipinti, Theresa Castellano and Beth Mason — voted “no.”
“What has happened since 2006?” Asked Mason. “We rushed to get some panels done with a design that all of a sudden then we turned around and changed it?”
Castellano said Thursday that over $500,000 had already been spent on two designs, and that the $500,000 bond was an "additional expense," she wrote in an email to Patch.
There is only one company that produces glass that’s stable enough to withstand major weather events, Forbes said on Wednesday.
It took the 9/11 memorial committee multiple years to agree on the design of the memorial, but also on its location and scope. The design was finalized in 2011.
An earlier design, introduced under a previous administration, included a special pier that extended into the Hudson. That was too expensive, Mayor Dawn Zimmer has said in previous interviews.
In September 2011, shortly before the ten-year anniversary of the attack, Zimmer said that the city was about to go out for bid to find a company to construct the memorial.
The glass panels of the design will be engraved with the names of those Hobokenites who passed away in the terrorist attacks, as well as other words such as "loved one," "mother" and "child."
“It’s unfortunate if this issue is being politicized,” said Bhalla, who approved the ordinance.
On the other side of the dais, Russo disagreed.
“I am not walking down this road,” the councilman said, “until a finalized plan is in front of me with no more hiccups.”