The National September 11th Museum is supposed to open next year, but Mayor Bloomberg says construction at the site has come "basically to a halt" because the Port Authority, which is paying for site-wide infrastructure, is squabbling with the museum foundation over money. Governor Cuomo said yesterday that the Port Authority (which is controlled by New York and New Jersey on the state level) is "on the verge" of suing the foundation over hundreds of millions of dollars. Never forget bureaucratic infighting!
The Port Authority had previously said the foundation owes $156 million to cover construction, but yesterday Coumo put that figure at $300 million. The Wall Street Journal reports that the dispute "is partially over whether the infrastructure costs—much higher than the original estimates—are the responsibility of the foundation, or whether the work should be considered part of broader construction that the Port Authority pays for."
Bloomberg, who is chairman of the foundation, says, "We don’t think we owe anything. In fact, we think that the Port Authority actually owes us something like $140 million." However, Bloomberg insists he's optimistic they'd be able to work something out, and that the museum will open as scheduled. Besides, can't the Port Authority just raise tolls to make up the difference?
Of course, the Port Authority has other problems besides getting the museum to shut up and pay them. An investigation is being launched into the $17 million a year the PA has been losing due to faulty electric meters at the PA-run Kennedy Airport. Meanwhile, in Washington, Rep. Michael Grimm and U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg are introducing a bill to return oversight of the bi-state agency to the federal government, and let the U.S. Department of Transportation to determine whether recent toll hikes are "just and reasonable."