With $5 million, Assembly kicks-starts park funding
By Albert Amateau
The upcoming New York State budget for the 2005-06 fiscal year will include $5 million for the Hudson River Park, according to Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, the Assembly co-author of the 1998 legislation that created the 5-mile-long riverfront park currently under construction.
The funding, proposed by Governor Pataki, was included in the Assembly budget resolution but had been rejected by the Senate until this week when Senate leaders agreed that the $5 million for the park would come under the states Environmental Protection Fund.
The funding will generate an additional $5 million from New York City under a long-standing agreement to fund the park by a state-city match.
This is especially significant because it is the first state funding for the park that goes beyond the original commitment made by Governor Cuomo in the late 1980s of $100 million in state funding, Gottfried said. Without this funding and the decision to go beyond the original commitment, development of the park would have ground to a halt, he said.
The states $5 million and the match by the city ensure that park construction will continue this year, Gottfried said. With the addition to Hudson River Park of $10 million from Port Authority funds, the total state funding for the park in the coming fiscal year is $15 million. The city match will bring total park funding to $30 million in the 2005-06 fiscal year.