The new Yankee stadium plan passed the City Council subcommittee (3-0) and committee (22-1) today and is awaiting near unanimous approval before the full body this afternoon. Council Member Tony Avella voted ‘aye,’ changing his mind from when he talked with us Monday for the article in today’s paper. It was the Metro-North station that made him do it, he said.
Charles Barron voted nay; Helen Foster will also oppose it before the full Council but she is not on Land Use.
The community benefits agreement was not, Committee Chairwoman Melinda Katz kept reminding members, the issue on the floor, and yet it had a way of creeping into people’s endorsements of the project. After the vote, Maria Baez, the “dean” of the Bronx delegation, told reporters that the agreement had not been signed yet but was complete. Final terms: The Yankees will contribute $1.2 million a year (up from $700,000) for nonprofit organizations and for park maintenance, a certain percentage of which must be in Community Board 4; $1 million a year for four years for a job training and apprenticeship program; and 15,000 game tickets to borough residents.
So who will sign this thing, and when? Baez told us Yankees President Randy Levine and Borough President Adolfo Carrion along with some council members, hopefully before the final vote this afternoon. We’d be surprised: in the past, these C.B.A.’s have avoided having any officials’ signatures to make clear they are outside the city’s land use process.
Outside, as in, being hashed out outside the City Council chambers and downstairs in the private conference room.