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February 12, 2009

Atlantic Yards Ombudsman faces audience frustrated with partial answers regarding stimulus funds, Carlton Avenue bridge

Atlantic Yards Report

The Brooklyn Paper's Mike McLaughlin was first, but Norman Oder is biggest in his coverage of last night's Q&A with the Empire State Development Corporation's Atlantic Yards Ombudsman, Forrest Taylor, at a meeting hosted by the Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods.

Some 13 months ago, in his first appearance at a meeting of the Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods (CBN), Forrest Taylor, the Empire State Development Corporation’s Atlantic Yards Ombudsman, faced what I described as a “cordial but sometimes prickly audience.”

Last night, after another year of contention, (significant) stagnation, and (sporadic) revelation regarding the Atlantic Yards project, Taylor faced a somewhat more prickly and clearly more frustrated audience, which deemed many of Taylor’s--and thus the ESDC’s--answers inadequate or evasive. He spoke before about 60 people at the same venue--St. Cyril's Belarusian Cathedral on Atlantic Avenue.

Notably, he was unable to say whether the ESDC formally backed an effort, encouraged at least by Borough President Marty Markowitz and reportedly developer Forest City Ratner, to gain federal stimulus funds for the Atlantic Yards project. He suggested that the city Department of Transportation bore all responsibility for the contract it signed allowing the reconstruction of the Carlton Avenue Bridge to take up to three years, even though the ESDC publicly announced it would take two years. And, as the ESDC has done, he maintained the official position that lawsuits, rather than the credit crunch, have stalled work on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Vanderbilt Yard.

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Posted by eric at February 12, 2009 9:41 AM