Joan's Feed
Oct 8, 2012

Analysis: Cities hit by recession ask voters to approve more debt

By Joan Gralla

(Reuters) – Houston-area schools want to borrow $1.9 billion to modernize most of the high schools, while Seattle says it needs $290 million to upgrade a seawall protecting the downtown waterfront so it can withstand an earthquake.

San Francisco wants to sell $195 million of debt to repair and improve worn-out parks and playgrounds that it says have been “loved to death”

Oct 8, 2012

Analysis – U.S. cities hit by recession ask voters to OK more debt

By Joan Gralla

(Reuters) – Houston-area schools want to borrow $1.9 billion to modernize most of the high schools, while Seattle says it needs $290 million to upgrade a seawall protecting the downtown waterfront so it can withstand an earthquake.

San Francisco wants to sell $195 million of debt to repair and improve worn-out parks and playgrounds that it says have been “loved to death”

Sep 19, 2012

NJ Port Authority needs toll hikes: consultants

By Joan Gralla

(Reuters) – The long-awaited World Trade Center should be finished within its $14.8 billion budget, but the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency rebuilding the site, must raise tolls as it still faces major shortfalls in cash flow in coming years, a consultants’ report said on Wednesday.

As a result, the Port Authority not only must rely on planned toll increases, but also must find additional ways of raising money – from advertising to public-private partnerships – which could produce about $150 million a year, said consultants at Navigant Consulting Inc and Rothschild Inc.

Sep 19, 2012

NJ Port Authority needs toll hikes for projects: consultants

By Joan Gralla

(Reuters) – The long-awaited World Trade Center should be finished within its $14.8 billion budget, but the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency rebuilding the site, still faces major shortfalls in cash flow in coming years, a consultants’ report said on Wednesday.

As a result, the Port Authority not only must rely on planned toll increases, but also must find additional ways of raising money – from advertising to public-private partnerships – which could produce about $150 million a year, said consultants at Navigant Consulting Inc and Rothschild Inc.

Sep 19, 2012

No spending hikes for NY state agencies -budget chief

Sept 19 (Reuters) – New York state agencies were ordered to
plan for “zero growth” in their budgets for the fiscal year that
starts on April 1, 2013, the state budget director said in a
letter made public earlier this week.

Budget Director Robert Megna told state agency commissioners
that their 2013-2014 budget requests “must assume zero growth
from your 2012-13 cash ceiling” in his directive.

Sep 18, 2012

NY Nassau County budget delays sewer deal, not refunds

Sept 18 (Reuters) – A $2.79 billion budget for 2013 proposed
for New York’s Nassau County postpones by a year a plan to raise
at least $700 million with a private-public partnership for the
local sewer and waste water authority, according to multiyear
budget documents.

The new budget plan presented by County Executive Edward
Mangano on Tuesday is just slightly smaller than the current
$2.8 billion budget that ends on Dec. 31.

Sep 17, 2012

NY Assembly speaker seen losing clout with Governor Cuomo

Sept 17 (Reuters) – New York Democratic Assembly Speaker
Sheldon Silver likely will survive ethics probes of the
settlement of sexual harassment charges against a fellow
Democratic assemblyman, but Silver could lose some of his clout
in dealing with Governor Andrew Cuomo on difficult issues,
including the budget, pol i tical consultants and academics said.

Silver, who represents lower Manhattan, has been a forceful
advocate for students, unions, tenants and the poor since he was
elected speaker in 1994.

Sep 13, 2012

World Trade Center arts space on track despite obstacles-city

By Joan Gralla

(Reuters) – A new arts center on the site of the former World Trade Center in New York should be open by 2017 or earlier, despite delays in funding and design issues, a city official said on Thursday.

The Lower Manhattan Performing Arts Center, designed by Frank Gehry, is expected to be built where a temporary commuter railway station now stands on the 16-acre (6.5 hectare) World Trade Center complex.

Sep 12, 2012

NYC subway riders may lose discounts in next fare hike

By Joan Gralla

(Reuters) – In the next fare hike, New York City’s bus and subway riders might lose some of the current discounts that cut the average cost of a ride to $1.63 from the $2.25 base fare, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said on Wednesday.

“Do we need a discount that deep?” asked MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota after addressing a Crain’s New York breakfast. Discounts are part of the city’s culture, he noted, but added: “I think we need to have a very good public debate about fare prices and discounts.”

Sep 12, 2012

World Trade Center museum deal may lead to land sale-sources

Sept 11 (Reuters) – A long-delayed sale of land that is part
of the World Trade Center redevelopment could become a reality
under a new accord between the Port Authority of New York and
New Jersey and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum,
four sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The property, called Site 5, could fetch $135 million to
$200 million, two of the sources said.