Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bloomberg Rejects Proposal For The City To Pay To Maintain Brooklyn Bridge Park - Taxes Eyed

"The City does not have the money to have new parks and fund them," Mayor Bloomberg famously said at the opening of Brooklyn Bridge Park on March 22, 2010. (Photo: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates)


As expected, the Bloomberg administration has rejected a series of proposals meant to avoid building additional luxury housing to pay for maintaining Brooklyn Bridge Park, including requiring the city to pay to maintain their own park themselves, according to the New York Post.

In complying with the Bloomberg administration's mandate that parks need to pay for themselves, the consulting group hired by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation is not even allowed to consider options that involve using city funds.

The Committee on Alternatives to Housing is exploring ways to generate the more than $16-million dollars park officials say is needed annually to maintain the 61 acre park - plus water acres. The administration has also refused to consider trimming the park's bloated operating budget which many believe is a justification the city is using to build housing in the park.

The Bloomberg administration has also rejected State Senator Dan Squadron's plan to use a portion of the tax revenue from newly valuable property to fund the maintenance of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Not surprisingly, these ideas were rejected by the committee after the public had advocated for them, some for years, including at two recently held public meetings held to discuss funding alternatives.

Last week, Deputy Mayor for economic development Robert Steel said the Bloomberg administration hopes to build "spectacular waterfront parks" that are able to pay for themselves.

"We will do our best to continue to insist that these parks be built with a self-sustaining source of revenue," Steel said, "so that today's ribbon-cuttings don't create tomorrow's fiscal challenges."

One idea being considered is establishing a Park Improvement District (PID) similar to BID's where nearby businesses and tenants would be charged an annual fee to be used for a dedicated park fund. The PID proposal was quickly rejected by Chelsea area businesses and residents last year in Manhattan when the City and the Friends of The High Line floated that idea.

One idea is capturing revenue from nearby Jehovah Witnesses buildings which are expected to be sold and converted to residential use.

Proposals being studied include fee based recreation services in the park, sponsorships or advertising, additional concessions, commercial real estate development, donations, and increased parking revenues.

Read More:

New York Post - December 21, 2010 - By Rich Calder

The Brooklyn Paper - December 21, 2010 - By Andy Campbell

Curbed - December 21, 2010 - by Sara Polsky

A Walk In The Park - December 1, 2010 - By Geoffrey Croft

A Walk In The Park - March 11, 2010

A Walk In The Park - March 9, 2010

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