The Wall Street Journal reported that Mr. Bloomberg’s foundation has decided to forgo the $17 million it believed it was owed from the Port Authority in order to commence construction on the 9/11 Memorial Museum once more during the next month. The foundation also agreed to keep six months’ worth of operating funds on hand, as well as equip the Port Authority with six months of its expected account expenses. They will both seek federal funding to help pay for both costs.
In real figures, the foundation would pay a million annually to support Port Authority operation expenses for as many as 30 years. However, the notion that the museum and memorial will cost money is not supported by the City of New York. Yet, there is a catch: If the Museum fails to pay on a timely basis, the Port Authority is able to stop construction. Also, the foundation and the Port Authority have a different calculation of the total cost necessary to complete the museum: Port officials have suggested $1.3 billion, while Bloomberg and the foundation estimated a lowly $700 million.
In addition the two organizations will form three new task forces to help with site management. This will include planning future events, ground maintenance, and the tallest building in the city: One World Trade Center. There will also be frequent meetings on the foundation’s financial planning with members of both states on staff. The operational details involved with the museum will stay the responsibility of the Memorial. The two associations plan to meet on September 20th to review the foundation’s current finances and then vote to proceed from its Board of Commissioners. The Port Authority will then have ten days to resume working full-time on the Memorial.
Governor Cuomo commented on their eventual verdict with a statement that read,”By ensuring that no additional public funds are spent to complete the Memorial and Museum, today’s agreement puts in place a critical and long overdue safeguard to finally protect toll payers and taxpayers from bearing further costs, and, at the same time, put the project on a path for completion.”
Furthermore, Governor Christie said shortly, ”Working together, we will now move this project forward with conviction but also with proper transparency and oversight and at no further costs to tollpayers and taxpayers.”
The plan will no doubt have some setbacks, especially with the continuous tension between the two organizations in the alliance, but in the end at least Bloomberg understood the importance of the Memorial, Museum, and One World Trade Center. He said that he was very content that they were able to reach the agreement on the eve of the anniversary, and thanked the governors and the Port Authority, recognizing that the deal was “a meaningful victory for the families” of those who perished in the 2001 attacks.