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Re: Outdated Flood Maps Put N.J. Residents at Risk
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This does not address your concern directly, but I wonder if Brian Stack, Sandra Cunningham, Anthony Chiappone, Harvey Smith, etc., have any information (or clue) about your question.

I have my doubts.

Posted on: 2009/6/17 0:50
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Re: Outdated Flood Maps Put N.J. Residents at Risk
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Please post useful information only. Thanks.

Posted on: 2009/6/16 23:33
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Re: Outdated Flood Maps Put N.J. Residents at Risk
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Live more above sea level? Fix your drainage systems?

Posted on: 2009/6/16 23:29
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Re: Outdated Flood Maps Put N.J. Residents at Risk
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Does anyone have any updates on the proposed case against the JCMUA or any communications with the NJDEP and US EPA?

Our basement level neighbors have been experiencing flooding and sewage backup over the past week or so, due to the incessant rains.

Besides contacting City Hall, Councilman Fulop, JCMUA, NJ DEP and US EPA, what else do we need to do as residents who continue to have issues in JC?

Posted on: 2009/6/16 23:22
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Outdated Flood Maps Put N.J. Residents at Risk
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1010WINS.com

Report: Outdated Flood Maps Put N.J. Residents at Risk


HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Outdated maps that don't take into account years of development are leaving many northern New Jersey residents and builders unaware of actual flooding risks, experts say.

Some of the maps of towns along the Ramapo, Pompton and Pequannock rivers date back to the Eisenhower administration.

"I've found throughout the state many maps are 50 or 60 years old" Drew Fishman, president-elect of the New Jersey Association of Realtors, told The Sunday Record of Bergen County. "The accuracy is questionable at best."

The result is that people may be more vulnerable than they realize, until a storm comes along like last year's nor'easter that caused millions in damage.

"It doesn't reflect current conditions, particularly when you're talking about maps that go back 10, 20, 30 years ago," said Rutgers geography professor Robert Hordon, who has studied New Jersey flooding for more than two decades.

Paul Weberg, a senior engineer in FEMA's New York office, defended the quality of the maps, but added that development over the years can contribute to increased flooding.

"Development basically eats away at flood plain areas," Weberg said. "Instead of having parkland or open space that could absorb some of the rainfall, now you have concrete streets and homes where there's nowhere for the water to seep into."

The maps show which areas would be affected by a so-called 100-year flood and are used in decisions that affect homeowners, such as how high to raise new or renovated structures.

FEMA redrew flood zones in northern Bergen County after Tropical Storm Floyd caused $350 million in damage in 1999, and found flood plains had changed dramatically in some areas. It also reassessed parts of the Delaware River in the last few years, and more studies are planned in the next few years.

(Picture from 1010 WINS Steve Sandberg)

1010 WINS Boroughs & 'Burbs: New Jersey

Posted on: 2007/5/27 20:02
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Re: Meeting on Flooding Issues - Steven Fulop
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http://www.protectingnewjersey.org/Index.asp?

Sounds like floods and storms will be a way of life - it might be a good idea to get those sewer pipes and basements fixed asap - or is it just a big waste of money and insurance companies and city hall know it!

Posted on: 2007/5/27 9:39
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Re: Meeting on Flooding Issues - Steven Fulop
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There is a ten person add maximum, but there is no limit to the number of people that can add themselves. Please join if you wish.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JCSOS/

Quote:

StevenFulop wrote:
Mitts -

thanks for posting. Yes, I am one of the moderators on the site (JC Sewers Out of Service) and we are using the addresses that we got at that meeting to make sure that there is some unity on the issue going forward and a community to coordinate action. I think there is a maximum of 10 e-mail addresses per day via the Yahoo List that we can add so it took a little time to gt everyone together.

This week, I will have a set time/schedule from Dan Becht for monthly meetings on progress, goals, and to coordinate the city, state, county on the grants/ improvements. Once we have the date set, we will need a couple people from the group to be involved on that front as well.

Also, yes please send me copies of the forms at City Hall - 280 Grove Street so peopel don't get lost in the process

Thanks again for posting
Steve

Posted on: 2007/5/15 14:32
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Re: Meeting on Flooding Issues - Steven Fulop
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Mitts -

thanks for posting. Yes, I am one of the moderators on the site (JC Sewers Out of Service) and we are using the addresses that we got at that meeting to make sure that there is some unity on the issue going forward and a community to coordinate action. I think there is a maximum of 10 e-mail addresses per day via the Yahoo List that we can add so it took a little time to gt everyone together.

This week, I will have a set time/schedule from Dan Becht for monthly meetings on progress, goals, and to coordinate the city, state, county on the grants/ improvements. Once we have the date set, we will need a couple people from the group to be involved on that front as well.

Also, yes please send me copies of the forms at City Hall - 280 Grove Street so peopel don't get lost in the process

Thanks again for posting
Steve

Posted on: 2007/5/15 13:07
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Re: Meeting on Flooding Issues - Steven Fulop
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A fellow on the Yahoo Group JCSOS (created by Jersey City Ward E Councilman, Steve Fulop, to provide a forum for discussion about the problem of chronic flooding in Jersey City, NJ. Membership is open to all individuals and businesses in Jersey City) posted this:

I have a US EPA investigator coming to my home this Friday due to the
health and safety issues from the sewage flooding into homes. His
name is Larry Gaugler 212-637-3950. He said it would be helpful if he
could visit other affected people. Please give him a call or send me
your contact info and I will forward it to him.


And remember to send your completed JCMUA questionaires to Councilman Fulop's off. These will be copied and delivered to the JCMUA. If you have already mailed yours to the JCMUA, please send a copy to Councilman Fulop's office.

Municipal Council Office
280 Grove St. Room 202
Jersey City, NJ 07302
Attn: Councilman Steven Fulop

Posted on: 2007/5/15 12:03
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Re: JCMUA Flood Forms
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Quote:

nugnfutz wrote:
There's certainly been more local media coverage and FEMA response on this over the past few weeks.


I saw some FEMA people walking around Journal Square.

Does someone know how many FEMA people are here and what they're doing?

Of course, FEMA should help people devastated by flooding, and the MUA and city and state should compensate people hurt by flooding caused by government negligence, but I wonder if FEMA really has to send FEMA people to provide aid in an area in which almost everyone is fine.

Couldn't FEMA save money by just sending private insurance adjusters to go look at people's homes, for example?

If FEMA were making inefficient use of resources to help Jersey City at a time when the Gulf Coast still looks as if it had survived a nuclear war, that would really frustrate me.

Posted on: 2007/5/14 10:39
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Re: JCMUA Flood Forms
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PhillyGirl wrote:
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BrightMoment wrote:

Unfortunately the MUA is an independent municipal authority and does not answer to City Hall. Thank Brett Schundler for that as he contemplates running again for Mayor.


Bright -- What does this mean, exactly? To whom do they report? And who controls their funding and budget? And who hires and fires their top guys?

Thanks for the info,
PG


JCMUA Meeting Notice

The next Board of Commissioners meeting will be held May 31, 2007 at 5pm in the Main Conference Room of the JCMUA, 555 Route 440, Jersey City, NJ 07305.

THE JERSEY CITY MUNICIPAL UTILITIES AUTHORITY
555 Route 440 Jersey City, NJ 07305
Tel: 201-432-1150 - Fax: 201-432-1576


About the JCMUA

The Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority (JCMUA) operates both the sewerage and water systems of Jersey City. We do our best to be sure that all wastewater and storm water flow to the treatment plant and that fresh water reaches your home. A Board of Commissioners consisting of five regular appointments and two alternates governs the JCMUA. The Mayor of Jersey City with the consent of the City Council appoints the Commissioners.




From Mia Scanga's excellent site on all things JC:

JC Municipal Utilities Authority (JCMUA)
The more departments, divisions, authorities.... the more patronage...
The more confusion.... the more corruption....


Current newspaper articles on problems with other cities MUAs' /// the City Council ordinance
approving a reduced revenue stream from the JC MUA

Flooding Fact Sheet

In the spring of 2004, Mark Curtis Esq., the former attorney for the JC MUA in consultation with the former Director of Finance Jennifer Bloom and with the MUA board's approval hired RGL, Forensic Accountants and Consultants. Their assignment was to review the current operations of the water billing process United Water Jersey City provides the JC Municipal Utility Authority. Schundler had revised the JCMUA contract with United Water in January 2000.
RGL's findings in their report was issued in May 2004.
click> PDF file of this 48 page report.

The MUA pays United Water more than $8 million a year to run the city's water system, maintaining everything from the Boonton Reservoir to the aqueducts and water mains that carry the water to the meters in individual households.


Excerpts from the report:
I. United NJ and its affiliated company United Hoboken have diverted JCMUA water resources and perhaps other resources for its own benefit without properly compensating the JCMUA. ...page 2

II. United JC has been deficient in its oversight and enforcement of JCMUA's wholesale water contracts with bulk water contractors....page 3

V. 1. The underpayment by United NJ for water transactions in 2003 total approximately $717,000 plus an additional $216,000 of underpaid water deliveries occurring in 2000 and 2002. United NJ owes JCMUA a total of $933,000 before interest is added for underpayments related to Bulk Water deliveries.....page 6

V 2. JCMUA supplies Hoboken their water. The report goes on to highlight the sweet heart deal Hoboken has including no minimum water purchases unlike JCMUA's other 4 bulk water customers/towns.. In addition, Hoboken pays the lowest price for water and has 60 days to pay unlike the 45 days the other 4 customers have. The report describes the "wheeling" of excess water through the Hoboken system to other customers/systems that have no direct connection to the JCMUA. Hoboken gets a cheap price and United Water sells their excess water to other systems at our expense...Sounds to me they're describing United Water is siphoning off our water through Hoboken and pocketing the extra cash. During 2002 United JC supplied United Hoboken 58 MG (water) free of any charge. During 2003 an additional 5 MG was supplied without charge to United Hoboken...... These two transactions represent $70,000 in lost water sales..... page 7

V 3. Lyndhurst ---- During 2003 United JC under-billed Lyndhurst $127,000 in Bulk Water....page 8

Under-payments for United affiliates for bulk water deliveries have occurred in each of the contract years reviewed 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003. ( United Water has had the contract since 1998.) The levels of under-payments are significant in amount and aggregate $1,004,000 before adjustments for accrued interest.... page 17

BULK WATER SALES CONCLUSION: United JC has diverted JCMUA assets without compensating the JCMUA.


RETAIL WATER BILLING SERVICES:
IV. The Billing Process has serious, if not fatal, flaws of operations from the acquisition of customer information, through the meter reading, and billing of water and sewer revenues.....
1. There is a systematic and fundamental problem in the process for adding or charging new accounts for water services in the JCMUA service area. .... page 4

450 accounts had ZERO billing even though the buildings were occupied and being served water and sewer services. These found properties included all types of structures including single and multi-family residential dwellings, commercial businesses, and public properties including a state hospital and a cemetery...... between $270,000 and $675,000 (annually) is not being billed and collected from these accounts.... page 11

RGL did a computer match between JCMUA's customer records and the city's property tax records. After adjusting for vacant lots that are taxed but don't use water, they found 4,600 more buildings on the tax rolls than water customers! What these people don't take showers or flush the toilet??? Assuming most found buildings are served water and sewer, un-billed revenues could produce revenues in the range of $1.5 million in the most conservative estimate of all parcels being single family dwellings to $5.5 Million of yearly income assuming a mix of multi-family dwellings, commercial and industrial customers. These estimates are estimates and the actual could be higher than the estimates..... page 12
f. The prospect that 4,600 buildings have been constructed within the City and not been included by United JC in the Water and Sewer billings database is shocking to contemplate and alarming.... page 13

New housing developments in the City are not being included in the water and sewer billings database and accordingly, the City is supplying free water and/of sewer services..... page 12 (It's not enough they're getting cheap tax abatements but now also water while the paying customers see constant massive increases.)

We recommend the appointment of an independent monitor to observe all aspects of the United JC Operations Contract until a through review and evaluation of the services provided JCMUA are fully evaluated..... United JC should pay for the cost of the independent monitor. The report goes on to discuss the problems the City of Atlanta had with United Water. Atlanta eventually fired United Water and killed the contract.... page 19

We recommend that JCMUA bring in a team of skilled utility system operators to assemble a seamless new customer accounts process. .... RGL also recommends 2 service providers to provide a team of experienced water system professionals. The recommendations included San Jose Water Company or Itron. Itron has past experience with the City of Philadelphia. ... page 20

________________________________________________

So what was the response from the JCMUA board???..... Ignore the report ! The auditor & author of the report flew in from San Francisco to meet with the board at one of their meetings. The board's response was to adjourn the meeting and go into closed session. Shortly thereafter they fired Mark Curtis Esq. and Jennifer Bloom.

In April 2005, the JCMUA board had no problem passing a 15% water & sewer rate increase plus about 200% increase in the monthly meter equipment. The increases were retroactive to January 1st. These increases follows numerous others including an 8.8% increase in 2003... See the chart below for the non-stop operating losses and rate increases.

The report point blank recommends an investigation by the County Prosecutor's office. Personally I've never heard them ever doing a white collar crime investigation especially on this scale. They have their hands full investigating all the JC homicides! As for the state, they're worthless. I've called and been passed along to 5 different departments under the Attorney General's office... It's an election year and the Democrats can't afford any more scandals.... The 2 top issues in the Governor's election are property taxes and corruption..... This is Jersey City's ENRON.... The victims are the residents of Jersey City who pay for water... Soon it'll cost $10 to take a shower in Jersey City!


To make matter worse, in September 2005, the JC City Council adopted ordinance 05-106, approving a reduced revenue stream from the JC MUA! click > PDF copy of the ordinance. The revenue from the JC MUA, our water & sewer payments, drop from $14 million to $7 million in five years! Look around at all the new condo developments in the city coming on-line now let alone in the next 5 years and we'll be collecting less!


Our only hope is an investigation by US Attorney Christopher Christie.... He's located at:
US Attorney's Office 970 Broad Street, Room 700, Newark, NJ 07102... 973-645-2700

We need your help! Contact Christopher Christie and demand an investigation!
------------------------------------------------------------------
history........

In February 1998, Schundler formed the Municipal Utilities Authority from the defunct JC Sewage Authority with the promise of improved service, and fiscal savings through streamlined services. None of it materialized. "While the administration officials have promoted the MUA as a way to streamline services, the ordinance.. has left the city with two agencies with state authorization to handle solid waste" the MUA and the JC Incinerator Authority (JJ 11/27/97). " Prior to the reorganization of the Authority, the City operated its water system as a utility within the City's budget. The City determined that it was in the best interest of the users of the water system for the Authority to operate both the sewage system and the water system, creating economies for both systems." (from the December 1999 and 1998 audited financial statements, page 11)

Within weeks of the MUA formation, April 1998, Schundler bonded $36 Million through the MUA to plug his FYE 98 budget, which ended in June 1998! Schundler financed the 10-year bonds through a 42% increase in water and sewer bills, 8% annually in the early years, 25% in the first 3 years, paid by JC ratepayers,! So much for Schundler's promise of no rate increases for five years when he promoted the sale of the City's water to United Water in 1996…. Soon it'll cost $5 to take a shower in Jersey City… Elect Schundler Governor and you can forget promoting New Jersey as the "Garden State " …

"The biggest issue for residents is high taxes, he said. "I'm going to lower your property taxes, to lower your income taxes and to lower those darn toll taxes," Schundler said. (Candidate promises tax relief, Courier News - LINK )... so he raises all the other fees...

As explained by former Business Administrator Rob Lombard in a JJ article dated 11/25/97 when the MUA was being voted on "'This is a way of realizing long term stability for property taxes in the city' by raising water rates every year.".. City Council President Thomas DeGise defended the 10-year plan that sees a privatized, MUA-administered water utility as the city's new cash cow. "It's more democratic than a tax increase,' DeGise said."

The "democratic" DeGise is referring to is that tax abated properties will also pay the increase as opposed to only the small businesses and 1 to 4 family homeowners always picking up the tab with tax increases. Property taxes are tax deductible, which is not the case for water & sewer bills unless you're a multiple family with rental income. When Schundler discusses JC tax rates, he won't admit the annual increases in the water & sewer rates to finance the bonds he used to plug his budget deficits or the sale of Caven Point or his practically bankrupting the autonomous agencies.

State legislation had been introduced by Assemblymen Joseph Doria and Paul DiGaetano and passed by the Assembly in February 1999 to disallow the bonding within MUA's to plug a municipal operating deficit, like what Schundler did. It stalled in the Republican controlled Senate's Community and Urban Affairs Committee ever since… Even with the plug of a net $31 million of bonding ( $5 million went to the bond counsel, auditors & investment bankers) , municipal taxes went up 15% and water & sewer bills went up 8% in 1998!


For the 1995 and 1996 FYE budgets, Schundler took the JC Sewage Authority's $15 million reserve for repairs and plugged the funds into his general operating budget deficits. Since the JC Sewage Authority was an autonomous authority, the $15 million reserve should have been refunded to the ratepayers of JC or used to repair the 100 year old system. So as to appear legal, the City sold the CATCHBASINS and NEWPORT SEWER SYSTEM to the MUA for the $15 Million! Of course the MUA has no staff to clean the catchbasins and you can gag from the sewer stench while standing on a corner waiting for the light and this is on Grove Street, a major commercial street....

The Authority should never have approved the transfer of the $15 Million which was and still is desperately needed for repairs to the 100 year old, combined sewer/rainstorm system. But most of the sewage authority board members were city employees, a consistent Schundler tactic. This system is a combined storm and sanitary sewer lines that dates from the 19th century in many parts of the City.

Even with the $15 million plug, municipal taxes went up 51% in 1995 and in October 1996 the City had to authorize $11 million in bonds for needed capital repairs. (See LAYOFFS) The City also ended the 1995 year $ 8.6 MILLION in the red, against state municipal law. In other words, Schundler overspent the city's budget by $8.6 million. The JJ's 8/2/96 front page article tells it all… "Tax bills will bring a defense…. Don't blame me, says Schundler's letter" … it's always somebody else's fault…

In May 1996, Schundler signed a 5 year deal to have United Water Company operate and manage the city's water system. Prior to it's take-over by United Water, the JC Water Department and Sewage Authority made about a $2 Million profit annually. Schundler promoted the sale by saying the improved collection management would guarantee no rate increase for the next five years! By 1998, see above, they raised rates 42% over the next ten years and the MUA is broke! After the sale, many residents got exorbitant water bills and many went into lien.

Schundler stated that the City would realize $38.5 million from the sale. On the Mayor's web site in May 2001 the numbers are even better: In his article Turning Cities' "Liquid" Assets Into Cash! by Mayor Bret Schundler, LINK, "Over the five year term of our contract, United Water is guaranteeing the City a minimum of $19 million in surplus water sales (actual $7,884,678 in 2000), $16 million in operational savings (NONE), and $2.5 million in up-front concession fees (that he got of course). Through stanching water leakage and improving billing and collections, United Water further projects $20 million to $35 million of additional future economic benefits to the City and our local sewerage authority, for which the municipal water utility does billing and bill collection (hasn't materialized). Add it up and the total economic benefit to our citizens should fall between $58 million and $73 million over five years -- or as much as $14 million per year! (well they're behind by $42 Million @ Dec 2000). This represents enormous savings for a City our size (total FY '96 property tax levy: $88 million). " The litany of benefits continues, "United Water is promising the city's Municipal Utilities Authority $145 million in savings and revenue if it agrees to add an additional 10 years to the current contract" (JJ 10/21/98). .... (They got the contract & we got nothing.)

As it turns out, more of Schundler lies ... more of Schundler's wiz finance in which he gets a quick $$$ plug for his budget deficits and the taxpayers LOOSE over the short & long term!!

The audited financials show a measly Bulk Water revenue increase from 1998 to 2000 of $787,741 and no decrease in operating expenses... Now bonding debt & expenses, legal fees etc, that's another issue... all up!

By the way, the Director of the MUA Bill Macchi told me that to rehab 200 feet of the sewage system costs $ 2 MILLION & to solve just the downtown problems is about $150 Million! When I stated it ain't going to get cheaper & the flooding & sewage back-up problems in downtown are just not going to just go away, he didn't respond.. ( 9/30/01)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2005 Amended and Restated Water Services Franchise
and Service Agreement between The City of Jersey City
and The Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority dated as of
September 30, 2005

for the complete agreement... part 1 PDF file
part 2 PDF file


Take a look at this revenue stream being paid from the MUA to JC! As the ratepayers keep getting socked with rate increases & thousands of units of new housing are built, the JC taxpayers get LESS! By 2009, the city will be collecting HALF of what we collect today! Does this make sense? The difference will have to be made up in additional services or less service. Can't imagine a dirtier city or more crime which is skyrocketing!
Resized Image

But let's look at the debt.

Resized Image

Remember the JC MUA HAS UNLIMITED BONDING CAPACITY!
The original intent was to bond and the net proceeds fund the "structural deficit" of the city. The structural deficit= expenses exceed revenues. Years of phenominal building and the city is always broke! Bear in mind, within weeks of forming the MUA former Mayor Schundler bonded $36 million and $31 million went into the city's 1998 budget to cover the deficit. The accountants, attorneys and bond sales people got a 15% take, $5 Million! WOW! Now you
see why they're always, besides the developers, MAJOR contributors to the mayoral campaigns. The infrastructure is collapsing since the sewers are well over 100 years old and a combined runoff/sewer system. The catch basins stink. Stand at a corner especially Grove Street. Major areas of the city constantly flood after minor rain.

Immediately after the 15% rate increase was approved in August, the MUA floated more bonds. This schedule is outdated since Cunningham floated more bonds in 2003.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Posted on: 2007/5/14 2:10
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Re: JCMUA Flood Forms
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Quote:

BrightMoment wrote:

Unfortunately the MUA is an independent municipal authority and does not answer to City Hall. Thank Brett Schundler for that as he contemplates running again for Mayor.


Bright -- What does this mean, exactly? To whom do they report? And who controls their funding and budget? And who hires and fires their top guys?

Thanks for the info,
PG

Posted on: 2007/5/14 1:22
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Re: JCMUA Flood Forms
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They must answer to Thulsa Doom.

Crucify them!

Posted on: 2007/5/14 0:29
"Contemplate this upon the Tree of Woe."
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Re: JCMUA Flood Forms
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fat-ass-bike wrote:
Quote:

cm4cd wrote:

2. Given 1, it's better to tackle the problem on an individual home basis (divide and conquer).


This is about right - the 'lucky' individuals will have their problem repaired and the build-up of crap and water during storms will only get worse for your neighbor and person down the end of the street.
If you don't change the pipes and divide the water and sewer, city hall is just pissing our money away.


Unfortunately the MUA is an independent municipal authority and does not answer to City Hall. Thank Brett Schundler for that as he contemplates running again for Mayor.

Posted on: 2007/5/14 0:22
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Re: JCMUA Flood Forms
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where can I get a JCMUA form?

Posted on: 2007/5/14 0:19
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Re: JCMUA Flood Forms
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There's certainly been more local media coverage and FEMA response on this over the past few weeks. Thanks again Steve for pushing this. I'm still disgusted by the initial city response and reaction. Let's make sure that this is followed though.

Posted on: 2007/5/14 0:02
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Re: JCMUA Flood Forms
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Quote:

cm4cd wrote:

2. Given 1, it's better to tackle the problem on an individual home basis (divide and conquer).


This is about right - the 'lucky' individuals will have their problem repaired and the build-up of crap and water during storms will only get worse for your neighbor and person down the end of the street.
If you don't change the pipes and divide the water and sewer, city hall is just pissing our money away.

Posted on: 2007/5/2 21:08
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Re: JCMUA Flood Forms
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The two principal arguments the MUA seem to be making are:
1. It's absudly expensive to fix years of neglect (reductio ad absurdum)
AND
2. Given 1, it's better to tackle the problem on an individual home basis (divide and conquer).
Hoboken are facing almost exactly the same problem as downtown JC, have already have tabled pragmatic solutions, and are chasing funding. Let's keep the pressure for action up on this.

Posted on: 2007/5/2 15:18
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JCMUA Flood Forms
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Tracy LaBad asked that the JCMUA forms be sent to this address:

Municipal Council Office
280 Grove St. Room 202
Jersey City, NJ 07302
Attn: Councilman Steven Fulop

In this way, each respondent's form will be photocopied (and saved by the Councilman's office) and then forwarded on to the JCMUA in bulk via hand delivery.

Posted on: 2007/5/2 13:00
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Re: Meeting on Flooding Issues - Steven Fulop
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Garden level/Ground level is defined by FEMA as a floor level that is at ground level on at least one side. If your backyard is approx. level with the interior floor, it is a ground floor.

A basement is a level that is surrounded by Earth on all sides (even if one or more sides is only is partially covered). If you have steps leading from ground level to your floor level, this is a basement.

Posted on: 2007/5/2 12:21
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Re: Meeting on Flooding Issues - Steven Fulop
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It really appeared that this JCMUA "collection of data" is a divide and conquer action. They said at the meeting, in this way they "can find the problem areas" and "make house by house visits to identify if the property owner's lines are to blame for some problems". And for those people that don't respond, the JCMUA will finally say that this is not a truly widespread problem (they've said it before at meeting last year where they said, that the last "supposed" flood event, they only received 3 phone calls...so it can't be the big problem that we are conveying).

It was made clear at the meeting, they know where the problems are. An examination of the city sewer maps clearly shows where backups are going to occur (e.g., 134" line draining into a 84" interceptor, some drainage basins encompass wide swaths of area that are served by the same size lines draining much smaller drainage basins). The JCMUA has been party to community meetings going back years...and they want to collect more information?

After discussing the situation with Steve Fulop this morning, it is suggested that RATHER THAN SENDING THE COMPLETED JCMUA FORM TO THE JCMUA -- SEND IT TO TRACY LABAD. The Councilman's office will keep a copy of the document and deliver, in bulk, these completed forms to the MUA. This way none get "lost in the mail", etc.

If you have sent yours off already, please fill out another copy and send it to Tracy Labad / Steve Fulop.

Posted on: 2007/5/2 12:16
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Re: Meeting on Flooding Issues - Steven Fulop
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I think JCMUA needs to be discouraged from their proposed dwelling survey. This is like surveying your refrigerator rather than turning on the oven and getting on with dinner.

Have any of us who have flooded not had a plumber in to advise and attempt to remedy the situation? Do you want your tax dollars to be spent on some guy telling you to have a plumber install a check valve, sump pump and a picture of the patron saint of the Netherlands?

The problem is running down the center of the road, not in our houses. The expertise on this problem was clearly sitting in the audience on Monday night, not standing in front of us. Do any of these people have skills in civil engineering, urban hydrology or project management? Does the SUEZ company have any role in this?

Lastly, how many of us stayed dry because we have pumps or other mechanical devices? We are one power outage away from disaster. So far residents have suffered loss of personal property and mental anguish (and possible exposure to god knows what diseases) . The next time we may have the dismal distinction of adding death by electrocution and disease. Katrina - it ain't just about poor people, it could happen to us.

Posted on: 2007/5/2 11:45
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Re: Meeting on Flooding Issues - Steven Fulop
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GrovePath wrote:
A DROUGHT OF IDEAS FROM CITY
Wednesday, May 02, 2007

We Americans love grand ideas.................................



Boy, I was going to rag on G-P about being sure to paste the attribution of his press clippings, but the JJ site has none either!! Was this an editorial, op-ed or snarky reporting? Perhaps it's clearer in the print edition, but damn, the JJ is sloppy.

Posted on: 2007/5/2 11:15
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Re: Meeting on Flooding Issues - Steven Fulop
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PhillyGirl wrote:
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StevenFulop wrote:
Phillygirl,

Per your request, the cases are below. They are from 60s/70s and coincidentally defendant in one of the cases is the City of Jersey City.

1) Clay v. City of Jersey City, 74 N.J.Super 490

2) Barney's Furniture Warehouse of Newark, Inc. v. Newark, 62 N.J. 456

Hope you find it helpful.
Best regards,
Steven Fulop


Thanks, Steve. We'll get our crackerjack jclist legal team on that right away -- we could have a complaint written in just a few days. Of course none of us is actually licensed and most aren't even JDs. Will that be a problem? Just kidding! Thanks for the citations. PG



PhillyGirl, do you recommend filing a notice of claim with the MUA. You only have a certain amount of time to do it. Is this something we should do as a group or individually?

Thanks
Brett

Posted on: 2007/5/2 11:14
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Re: Meeting on Flooding Issues - Steven Fulop
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StevenFulop wrote:
Phillygirl,

Per your request, the cases are below. They are from 60s/70s and coincidentally defendant in one of the cases is the City of Jersey City.

1) Clay v. City of Jersey City, 74 N.J.Super 490

2) Barney's Furniture Warehouse of Newark, Inc. v. Newark, 62 N.J. 456

Hope you find it helpful.
Best regards,
Steven Fulop


Thanks, Steve. We'll get our crackerjack jclist legal team on that right away -- we could have a complaint written in just a few days. Of course none of us is actually licensed and most aren't even JDs. Will that be a problem? Just kidding! Thanks for the citations. PG

Posted on: 2007/5/2 11:03
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Re: Meeting on Flooding Issues - Steven Fulop
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Phillygirl,

Per your request, the cases are below. They are from 60s/70s and coincidentally defendant in one of the cases is the City of Jersey City.

1) Clay v. City of Jersey City, 74 N.J.Super 490

2) Barney's Furniture Warehouse of Newark, Inc. v. Newark, 62 N.J. 456

Hope you find it helpful.
Best regards,
Steven Fulop

Posted on: 2007/5/2 9:45
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Re: Meeting on Flooding Issues - Steven Fulop
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A DROUGHT OF IDEAS FROM CITY
Wednesday, May 02, 2007

We Americans love grand ideas.

We applauded John F. Kennedy when he promised the moon, and no student of Jersey City history can ignore Mayor Frank Hague's vision for the Jersey City Medical Center.

So when Daniel Becht, executive director of the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority, came to Downtown Jersey City Monday to discuss the problems exposed by the April 15-16 nor'easter, many in attendance were eager for a bold solution.

Unfortunately, they're still waiting.

Instead of getting a solution, the group was asked to identify the problem. They were handed questionnaires to fill out to tell what had gone wrong.

Let me save everybody some time and energy: When it rains heavily, you can expect street flooding in certain parts of the city. And, eventually, the rain and filth and sewage will seep into people's homes, causing thousands of dollars of damage.

Becht and his staff may not have provided solutions, but they were quick to identify the culprits - which, coincidentally, left nobody to blame but long dead city planners and perhaps God.

They pointed out that the city's infrastructure dates to the 19th century, that Downtown and other parts of the city are below sea level, and that the city's pipes carry both sewage and storm water, as opposed to modern systems, which separate the two to prevent overflow rain from mixing with sewage.

They overlooked the fact that density has increased in the Downtown area and other parts of the city without any major renovations to the system for decades, not to mention the fact that the MUA lacks the kind of financial solvency necessary for large solutions.

Dorothy Bellinger knows what goes wrong when it rains. Her Clerk Street basement has been repeatedly ravaged by sewage and storm water during the past four years, forcing her to replace her washer and dryer and two freezers.

"It's cost me a lot of money, and the city keeps telling me they are going to extend the sewer line, but it's never happened," Bellinger said.

The same goes for Louise Mazza, who has lived in her Country Village Road home for four decades and countless floods.

She was visited yesterday by FEMA officials to calculate the damage from the most recent inflow.

"I had to replace my hardwood floors," she said. "How much money do I have to spend before this is fixed? What am I supposed to do?"

Becht promised to hire an engineering consultant to visit residents' homes, specifically in Downtown, in order to get a better handle on the problem. That just sounds to me like a more expensive version of the questionnaire.

The meeting's organizer, Downtown Councilman Steve Fulop, wants his ward to be removed from the citywide sewer master plan to reflect its unique problems. He also wants to see increased coordination between local, state and federal officials.

So what's to be done? City officials say residents should be prepared to look for their own solutions, like installing backflow valves and submersible pumps and patching up any cracks in their foundations.

Meanwhile, the city hopes to continue to improve upon requirements for new large-scale residential and commercial developments, along with continuing the repaving of streets.

These recent requirements, which were long overdue, include controlling run-off and requiring underground retention basins.

However, city officials acknowledge these new measures will do little to curb the current problems, saying they are more intended to reduce the impact of the hundreds of units being added to the system.

So, that leaves me back to where I started, asking for a grand plan.

City officials are talking about revamping the whole system, or adding pumping stations - ideas that have been thrown about for years but have been submarined when people started considering how much it would actually cost to do them.

If the projects are financially impossible, then city officials need to be honest with residents longing for a New Deal-type solution.

Otherwise, stop telling us about the problems. We know the problems. Come up with real solutions, painful as they might be. After all, that is what you city officials are getting paid to do.

Posted on: 2007/5/2 9:03
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Re: Meeting on Flooding Issues - Steven Fulop
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brewster wrote:
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BrettDavis wrote:
It's 10:08 and raining...Will my living room once again become the City's toilet????? It's a crapshoot.....

Maybe the magical underground rivers the MUA likes to talk about will take all the excrement out to sea!!!!


An optimistic view would be that a thunderstorm doesn't have a big low pressure system to raise the tide like a noreaster, so the sewer should drain as well as it is able to, till it is overfull of course.


Right, the tides....my place still smells like a low one.

BTW, your avatar is always looking at me, no matter what angle I am at and it freaks me out....I like it...

Posted on: 2007/5/1 22:27
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Re: Meeting on Flooding Issues - Steven Fulop
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BrettDavis wrote:
It's 10:08 and raining...Will my living room once again become the City's toilet????? It's a crapshoot.....

Maybe the magical underground rivers the MUA likes to talk about will take all the excrement out to sea!!!!


An optimistic view would be that a thunderstorm doesn't have a big low pressure system to raise the tide like a noreaster, so the sewer should drain as well as it is able to, till it is overfull of course.

Posted on: 2007/5/1 22:20
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Re: Meeting on Flooding Issues - Steven Fulop
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It's 10:08 and raining...Will my living room once again become the City's toilet????? It's a crapshoot.....

Maybe the magical underground rivers the MUA likes to talk about will take all the excrement out to sea!!!!

Posted on: 2007/5/1 22:10
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