Gov. Pataki, after meeting with the executive committee of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, tried to relieve pressure on fundraisers there at a Q&A with reporters at the John Zuccotti park opening this morning. The immediate goal: scale back the cost of the memorial and museum to less than half a billion, and get someone other than the foundation to pay for the prep work.
“The memorial foundation was created to raise money for the memorial and the memorial museum,” he said. “Personally I think there should be government resources used [for the infrastructure].”
The Port Authority owns the site but it has never been clear who is responsible for the infrastructure, which may cost as much as $300 million. Pataki has already asked for a lot from the Port, and he controls only half the votes, so once again, the New Jersey contingent is going to be playing a starring role in the denoument here.
Here’s a new statement from the Memorial Foundation (PDF), setting out July as the start of a national advertising campaign and fundraising drive.
UPDATE: An earlier headline said that Governor Pataki wanted the Port Authority to take over the infrastructure costs, but the Governor’s office said he has not specified the source of the funds other than to say they should come from government. (Already, however, the Port has committed $100 million towards the memorial’s infrastructure.) The earlier version of this post also carried a quote that was, upon a second listen to the tape, not clear and so it was deleted.