|Print this story||Permalink|
Call it mystery money. Couched in Mayor Bloombergs capital budget, released last week, is $205 million earmarked for the Atlantic Yards project. The line item more than doubles the $100 million that the city has already given toward the Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) project for infrastructure costs. It also is on top of the $100 million the state has given for infrastructure costs towards construction of 16 skyscrapers and the arena which will house the Nets basketball franchise. The additional funding is for infrastructure improvements, several of which would have been required with or without the construction of the Atlantic Yards Development and others that are necessary regardless of what is built on the site, said Bloomberg spokesperson John Gallagher in an e-mailed statement. This project will create jobs, provide affordable housing and generate billions of dollars in tax revenue and represents a solid investment of taxpayer resources, he added, refusing to comment or answer any questions further. FCRC refused comment on the money. However, opponents of the project were quick to jump on the money as an indication of the escalating public costs. The public costs keep rising, and yet we have a paltry amount of housing that is affordable to the average Brooklynite, and no agreement with the construction trades union to work with local residents who need jobs, said City Council member Letitia James. Im distressed to learn there is even more of a direct subsidy for Ratner than had been previously disclosed. No one in the Mayors office has answered the question of where the additional $100 million will go, she added. James said the mayors office should make this information available to the city council as soon as possible. In addition, the developers profits should be disclosed immediately so we can assess the costs and benefits of this $4 billion boondoggle, James said. Develop Dont Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB) spokesperson Daniel Goldstein called the $205 million only part of the citys subsidy package to developer Bruce Ratner, which also includes several [as-of-right] tax abatements and credits, and housing subsidies. This doubling of the citys taxpayer cash subsidy to $205 million for Ratners project is just the first blast of helium into a very large balloon of public money, said Goldstein. There will be many more installments made to Ratner under a blank public check euphemistically called extraordinary infrastructure costs. Who will put a stop to this? he added.
©2007 Community Newspaper Group
|Print this story||Permalink|
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.