Four days into the new year, the city of Hoboken is already dealing with its first water main break.
Residents have long been weary of the main breaks in the square-mile New Jersey city: in 2016 alone, they dealt with 20 of them.
And again on Wednesday, a water main broke on Observer Highway, leaving people living in a 300-unit apartment building nearby waterless.
Suez Water's contract to run the system pays the city just a third of a million dollars a year, while Hoboken must use that money to repair pipes, since it owns them, city officials have said.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer is trying to renegotiate.
"I want to make sure that we have an agreement that's fair to the people of Hoboken and offers the most investments each year as possible," she told NBC 4 New York."
Meanwhile, $17 million will be spent this year on a new water main and repaving of busy Washington Street. Another $5 million will be bonded to replace the miles of hundred-year-old pipes, but that will take time, officials said.
Suez describes year-long negotiations as active. Zimmer agreed, but also said they were frustrating. Nonetheless, she hopes a deal can be worked out by the end of 2017 so that more money could be used to fix more pipes.