A company will pay Jersey City $10 million up front and $250,000 annually to operate a solid waste transfer station at a waterfront rail yard, city officials said Monday.The agreement with IESI NY Corp., which spans 30 years, will enable it to begin operations of a barge-to-rail system for some 800,000 tons of waste coming out of New York City, according to a news release. The waste is currently carried by truck through Jersey City, but will instead be taken in sealed containers directly to the Greenville Yard property.
The city will use the initial $10 million payment to complete renovations of a decommissioned reservoir in the Jersey City Heights section, the news release said. The $250,000 will be collected as an annual “host transfer fee” for the operation.
The station will occupy a site that was part of the city’s high-profile legal battle with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which centered on what the city said was some $400 million in unpaid property taxes on agency-owned land. As part of the dispute, city officials said they intended to block the operation of the Greenville Yard facility if the agency was unwilling to cover the increased costs of services from the station.
Monday’s news release said Jersey City reached the settlement with IESI and the New York City Department of Sanitation, but it did not mention the Port Authority. The agreement is scheduled to be voted on by the City Council at its meeting Wednesday.
City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill confirmed the land is owned by the Port Authority and that IESI will operate there under a contract with the agency and the sanitation department. But she also said Jersey City’s agreement with IESI “has nothing to do with litigation against the Port Authority.”
The upfront payment will fund upgrades to what’s known as Reservoir 3, including perimeter running and walking tracks and pathways, preservation of existing historic structures, new lighting, and other park amenities. The city’s plan also calls for new park amenities such as a floating walkway across parts of the water, a kayak launch, beach area with water access and nature and wildlife habitat areas.
“This will be the most ambitious park plan in Jersey City with passive and active recreation, nature and wildlife trails, kayaking, and more,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a prepared statement. “The reservoir is one of our city’s most valuable assets and we are committed to seeing it completed and designed as such. This is a great opportunity to develop this unique urban park without utilizing taxpayer funds.”
IESI NY Corp. spokeswoman Chaya Cooperberg issued this statement:
“We are very pleased to partner with Mayor Fulop and Jersey City on this opportunity,” she said. “This operation will contribute to the community’s environmental sustainability and provide funds to support the city’s capital needs.”
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