Volume 17, Number 51 | May 13 - 19, 2005

C.B. 1 makes recommendations for community money

By Ronda Kaysen

When it comes to the remaining $735 million of Community Development Block Grants set aside to rebuild Lower Manhattan, Community Board 1 members are in agreement: the money should not be spent on a memorial for the World Trade Center disaster or on site itself, for that matter.

“There’s incredible pressure to use the funds for the memorial, and there is not enough money to go around,” said board member Julie Menin at a recent World Trade Center Committee meeting.

Instead, the board would like to see the money used to fund infrastructure for the neighborhood. In a resolution, they named six specific projects that have all received board support in the past.

After much discussion, the committee members whittled the list down to the East River waterfront redevelopment proposal ($152 million), the pre-K-8 school on Beekman St. ($24 million), the new Manhattan Youth-steered Community Center in Tribeca ($2 million), the Fulton St. revitalization project ($40 million), the Tribeca segment of Hudson River Park ($70 million) and affordable housing ($50 million). The board also suggested setting aside an unspecified amount of funds for the environmental health impacts on the community and using $125 million of transportation funds, not C.D.B.G. funds, for a bus storage facility as part of the Greenwich Street South development.

The board’s wish list accounts for about $340 million of the remaining funds, leaving a significant chunk unaccounted for. “I don’t think it makes sense to come up with a $750 million budget or we’re going to shoot ourselves in the foot,” C.B. 1 district manager Paul Goldstein said at the meeting.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a recent press conference that he liked three projects the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation is considering funding — Greenwich St. South, the East River Waterfront and the improvements along Fulton St., which total about $315 million.

“We’ve been spending a lot of time on these projects and it’s reasonable to assume those projects will be part of the allocation,” Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff told Downtown Express after the press conference.

With a multitude of constituencies all vying for an ever-shrinking pot of money, the board emphasized a need to focus its agenda. At the committee meeting last week, interim C.B. 1 chairperson Richard Kennedy urged the board “to be specific, vocal and stay on it.”


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