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April 24, 2008

Legislation would require emergency report on major capital projects



Citing a pattern of inadequate financing, bad planning and misplaced priorities, Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Corporations, Commissions, and Authorities today released legislation requiring the immediate submission to the Legislature and the Governor of a report outlining the status of and issues confronting close to a dozen major capital projects in the downstate region.

These projects, all of which are facing significant problems, include Hudson Yards, 7 Line extension, Javits Convention Center, the Boulevard, Moynihan Station, World Trade Center rebuild, PATH station, Atlantic Yards, Willets Point and Sunnyside Yards.


Additional coverage:

The NY Sun, Progress Reports Urged for Big Development Projects

"This is not about the fact that these developments are in various states of collapse, which they are, but that they are all endangering the MTA's capital plan, which is the single most important part for any government," Mr. Brodsky said.

"Other than the mayor and the governor, who knows what is actually going on?" [Brodsky] said.

NY Daily News, Pol wants facts & figures on faltering big projects

Brodsky says the projects are in trouble due to "inadequate financing, bad planning and misplaced priorities," and he's worried that they're siphoning off funds for much-needed mass transit projects.

Atlantic Yards Report, Brodsky seeks AY timetable, cost-benefit analysis in report on megaprojects

Analysis and commentary from Norman Oder:

If passed, the law would require not merely a status report, but also would require a cost-benefit analysis that has so far not been conducted. It would require the ESDC to detail the full spectrum of public "incentives, benefits, subsidies, and revenues," the projected economic impact on the city, state, and metropolitan area, "and a comparison of expected benefits with anticipated costs."

That could be a watershed. The ESDC has produced a lengthy Final Environmental Impact Statement (see the last pages of the Socioeconomics chapter), as well as a General Project Plan, both of which estimate new revenues, but provide scant details on the totality of public subsidies and public costs. (The Independent Budget Office came the closest to estimating the total impact of the project, but shied away from a full study.)

It would be astounding if the ESDC produced a full cost-benefit analysis within 45 days. More likely the agency would supply an updated version of previously compiled documents.

Posted by lumi at April 24, 2008 5:43 AM