NEW YORK — The planned opening of the National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center will be delayed because of feuds over redevelopment costs between the Port Authority and museum officials, according to news sources.
According to a report by “The Wall Street Journal” (WSJ), the project, which was to open on the 11th anniversary of 2001 terrorist attacks, will likely be delayed because the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey ceased approving new contracts and extensions of existing contracts, thus adding pressure on the museum foundation, led by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
There have been a series of funding disputes, and the battle is fueled by a debate over who should pay for the $156 million and whether it is the Port Authority, who is responsible for paying site-wide infrastructure, or the foundation, which is responsible for the museum costs. The dispute also includes the fighting over who will pay for up to $300 million in security costs related to the site.
The Port Authority, which owns the site and is in charge of rebuilding, has been absorbing most of the billions of dollars in costs that accumulated over the years; the redevelopment tab has reached more than $11 billion. The overruns have been disputed for months and the Port Authority believes that the foundation should pay the $156 million in construction costs.
The foundation denies it owes the costs for overruns, and it believes that the Port Authority actually owes it over $100 million “for additional costs caused by construction delays and operational complications of opening the memorial when the surrounding streets and sidewalks weren’t yet open,” according to the WSJ news report.
The report states that talks are active between the foundation and the Port Authority and the “two sides are negotiating a set of conditions for arbitrating the dispute outside of court” and that “representatives for all sides on Sunday said the issues would ultimately be resolved.”
According to WSJ, Julie Wood, a spokeswoman for Mr. Bloomberg, said in a statement that funding disputes have been overcome before. “We’re confident we will work them out again,” she said.
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