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Can't Help Being a Little Cynical

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Joined: Mar 17, 2005
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Location: Staten Island

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:37 pm    Post subject: Can't Help Being a Little Cynical
From Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:00 am to Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:59 am (included)
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Yesterday they had the placement of the first steel beam for the September 11th Memorial at Ground Zero.

Hopefully this is a sign that things are actually moving forward.

Unfortunately we have seen many similar ceremonies at the site in the past with the installation of other first beams.

We even had an elaborate ceremony for the installation of the cornerstone which no longer even resides at the site.

Although I am hopeful, so many promises have been made and broken, it is difficult not to be cynical.

Placing hope and cynicism aside we look forward to the Port Authority’s report later this month.

A report that is to include a new budget and timeline for construction at Ground Zero.

Back in the spring of 2006 a similar report was released when the costs were first spiraling out of control. (see link below)

Frank Sciame was hired to “ensure the World Trade Center Memorial be brought in line with the $500 million budget while remaining consistent with the “Reflecting Absence” vision of David Libeskind’s Master Plan” “while providing significant cost savings and meeting the schedule to open the Memorial on September 11, 2009”

As we know even with the recommendations implemented the cost of the Memorial has almost doubled and now a 2011 opening date is even in jeopardy.

We are hoping (can’t seem to give up hope) that this new report will be adhered to and that at least someone will be held accountable to the new timelines and budget.

One other concern that never seems to be mentioned is the operating cost of the Memorial complex after it is opened.

Prior to the Sciame Report the projected annual operating cost was estimated at almost $61 million. The Sciame recommendations cut this by over $11 million leaving it at over $40 million a year. (including $500,000 a year to heat the water in the waterfalls so that the mist would not freeze during the winter)

With the cost of the Memorial nearly doubling and the significant rise in the cost of almost everything over the past two years one would think that the operating costs would now be somewhere in the $75-$80 million range.

Has anyone even considered where this money is coming from?

Hopefully they have and if they are serious about being open and truthful in the upcoming report the details will be included.

So we are back to hoping.

Hoping that the Port Authority will present a plan that will deliver a safe and secure memorial while paying closer attention to costs and timelines.

Hoping that more attention will be paid to this report than was paid to the Sciame report.

Hoping that we will have a memorial to go to on September 11, 2011.

I for one cannot help being a little cynical.


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