Bloomberg, City Council Accelerate $1 billion in infrastructure Programs Throughout New York

October 17th, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg (center), flanked by Speaker Christine Quinn and Comptroller John Liu, announces changes to CCP at City Hall today. Photo by Edward Reed

The New York City construction boom is not slowing anytime soon—and if Mayor Bloomberg’s recent announcement is any indication, it’s even accelerating.

The Bloomberg Administration and City Council have made changes to New York’s Capital Commitment Plan that will “accelerate more than $1 billion of critical infrastructure projects throughout the city, the mayor, Comptroller John Liu and Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced today in City Hall’s Blue Room.

The CCP sets four-year benchmarks for capital improvements, and will further facilitate the city’s massive infrastructure investments that helped revive the city in the months following September 11. Under the Bloomberg Administration, New York spent $89 billion on capital commitments from fiscal year 2002 to fiscal year 2012, a record for any New York mayoral administration.

“Throughout our Administration, during good economic times and bad, one thing has remained constant: We’ve continued to invest in New York City’s future,” Bloomberg said. “Efforts like this one are what make city government effective and are yet another example of how … we can work together to do what is right for our city.”

Construction like this exists throughout the city. Photo by John MennellThe update to the CCP, which is available for download on the Office of Management and Budget website, invests money on a wide range of projects, including $290 million over the next two fiscal years to repair and upgrade 100 school buildings.

The total financial commitment of the fiscal year 2013 CCP is $13.5 billion, the bulk of which is spread across 15 city agencies. The Department of Education, plagued with decaying schools and a lack of classrooms—especially in Lower Manhattan—gets the most money at more than $2 billion.

It is unclear from the plan, however, how many projects are centered in Lower Manhattan. A spokeswoman for the mayor said those numbers were not immediately available.

Certain Lower Manhattan institutions, however, are receiving funds. The Lower Manhattan Cultural Center is receiving $42,000 this year and the Jewish Heritage Museum is receiving $1,406 for improvements.

Even though the CCP outlines the investment of nearly $14 billion in capital projects, the changes made by Bloomberg and City Council were meant to free up money for projects that are already “in progress or are ready to begin and, in many cases, could be completed within the next 20 months,” according to the mayor’s website.

Liu, who first raised the idea of accelerating capital spending earlier this year, said the changes to the plan are an ideal way to minimize the impact of economic hardship.

“Tough economic times demand creative solutions like this Capital Acceleration Plan,” Liu said. “Put simply, this plan will deliver a much-needed shot in the arm to our City’s economy.”

Liu and the Bloomberg Administration estimate that the acceleration plan will create nearly 10,000 jobs and save taxpayers nearly $200 billion over the life of the four-year plan, thanks to the current low-interest rates.

“Creating good jobs, accelerating infrastructure improvements and realizing long-term cost savings are a winning trifecta for our city’s taxpayers” Liu said. “I applaud the Mayor and the City Council for recognizing this as a good idea and following through on it.”

—Chris Haire

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