What’s the Problem with the Memorial?

What’s funny about the debate over the World Trade Center Memorial’s cost and fundraising is that only one of them can be a problem. If the cost can be limited to $500 million, as Bloomberg wants, then it is almost paid for: there is already $480 million in private and public funds received or pledged, if one counts the $100 million recently chipped in by the Port Authority.

The real question is who is paying for the $300 million in infrastructure costs anticipated in the latest estimate by Bovis Lend Lease, and carried in The Times and the Daily News. If the memorial foundation is supposed to bear that bill, the fundraising to date looks particularly meek. But the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the city-state agency overseeing the site’s redevelopment, is pushing to get the Port Authority to bear that cost.

Guess what? Expect more bickering among governmental agencies at Ground Zero.

-Matthew Schuerman