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City Moves Forward in Process of Buying Southwest Park

After not reaching an agreement with the property owner of an acre of land in the Southwest, the city is taking steps to purchase land, using the power of eminent domain.

The city will be usingto acquire a piece of land in Southwest, Mayor Dawn Zimmer said on Friday. 

Earlier this week, the city concluded that "good faith" negotiations wouldn't be completed, and that the city will have to go to court to purchase the land. 

"We are moving forward with the process," Zimmer said in a phone interview. "We filed a motion and deposited the $2.3 million."

The city filed the motion on Wednesday in Superior Court in Jersey City. The $2.3 million the city received from Hudson County to be used to purchase park land. 

the city of Hoboken an extention. Now, the city has until August 2013 to purchase a park in the southwestern part of town with that money. 

Now the city has to wait to get a hearing scheduled in front of a judge together with the property owner. The mayor said she wasn't sure how long the process was going to take. 

"We are using the court process," Zimmer said. "It isn't where we wanted to be be, but it's where we are." 

During the last city council meeting, assistent business administrator Stephen Marks said that the city was "no closer in coming to a meeting point today then we were five months ago."

Councilman Michael Russo, a member of the council minority and one of four members who voted "no" on eminent domain, expressed his opposition at last week's council meeting. 

"I think we should continue to try to negotiate and see if the park is going to come together," he said. 

"We're going to end up in Court for a lot of money," said First Ward Councilwoman Theresa Castellano, during the same meeting.  

Marks told the city council that there were multiple letters back and forth—between property owner and the city—and one face-to-face meeting. 

After almost a year of negotiations with the property owner, Zimmer said, no agreement could be reached.

Now the city has decided, eminent domain is "the only way" to achieve a park in the Southwest. 

A park in the southwestern part of town has been a long time coming. This final process may mean the park will come to fruition soon. 

"It's really important," Zimmer said, "that we havein Southwest Hoboken." 

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