Loss of Promised Park Money Focus of BronxTalk Tonight

5 Mar
Gary Axelbank says that “tonight’s BronxTalk will feature a discussion with an analyst from the Independent Budget Office about the status of the promised funding for Bronx parks under the Croton filtration agreement. The program will include exclusive video from the press conference where Mayor Bloomberg made the promises about the extent of the improvements to Bronx parks. Should be fascinating! Tonight at 9:00pm on Bronxnet’s Cablevision channel 67 and Verizon Fios 33.”
For background, see this excerpt from a terrific recent article from Adam Wisnieski in the Riverdale Press:

The Press recently reported that the City Comptroller’s Office is conducting an audit to determine whether the Bronx actually received the $240 million it was promised for dealing with the construction of the Croton Water Filtration Plant.

A video clip from 2003 shows Mayor Michael Bloomberg announcing the deal at  St. James Park, shortly after the City Council voted to approve building a filtration plant under the Mosholu Golf Course.

“That vote cleared the way for the creation, over the next five years, of an unprecedented $219 million green legacy here in the Bronx. That is a level of investment in parks that has not been seen in the Bronx or in any other borough for that matter, since the days of the WPA, when the entire parks system was rebuilt and it tripled in size,” Mr. Bloomberg said, as boos and chants of “No filtration!” rang out in the background.

“The investment in parks in the Bronx that I am describing does not in any way reduce what the city Department of Parks and Recreation plans to spend on capital projects in the Bronx, which this year is $44 million dollars. In fact, it more than triples the city’s commitment to the parks in this borough over the next five years,” Mr. Bloomberg said at the time, noting that the money was to be spent within five years.

That total allocation has been adjusted to about $210 million, not including an earlier agreement. In 1999, the DEP agreed to fund projects totaling $43 million as part of a ULURP application — approved by the City Council — to construct the plant on parkland.

But as previously reported in The Riverdale Press, the money hasn’t made it to the parks. Based on figures the Independent Budget Office gave to the Croton Filtration Monitoring Committee by the Independent Budget Office, Croton money started flowing into the Bronx in 2005. For five years, $113.8 million in Croton allocation money was spent on Bronx parks, approximately $100 million less than was promised in that time frame.

For whole article click here.


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