The BPCA Gets a Credit Limit Increase
Albany Legislature Okays Half a Billion in New Bond Debt for BPCA
The State legislature has enacted a measure that will allow the Battery Park City Authority to take on up to half a billion dollars in new bond debt, in order to fund resiliency measures throughout the community, as well as to underwrite other capital projects.
The bill, sponsored in the Assembly by Yuh-Line Niou (who represents Battery Park City south of Vesey Street) and in the Senate by Brian Kavanagh (who represents all of Battery Park City), grants permission to the Authority (where borrowing limits are set by the legislature) to issue new debt for, “critical infrastructure and resiliency projects that must be completed in light of the damage caused when Superstorm Sandy made landfall in 2012,” according to a statement issued by the lawmakers.
Assembly member Niou said, “the priority of this legislation is to give Battery Park City the resources it needs for necessary infrastructure repairs and resiliency projects. Superstorm Sandy hit our community hard in 2012. Since then, we have been working diligently to restore and fortify our neighborhood. We have made significant progress, but unavoidable climate-change impacts continue to loom over the safety of our neighborhood. As we continue our urgent work to protect our community and utilize this non-renewable bonding capacity, we must ensure that we have a responsible, community-focused process and include our community voice in every step.”
Senator Kavanagh said, “by allowing the Battery Park City Authority to obtain the funding necessary for coastal resiliency projects, we are taking an important step to protect our community from the effects of climate change.”
Assembly member Deborah Glick (who represents Battery Park City north of Vesey Street) observed that, “protecting the City from the impact of climate change by providing immediate, interim measures against potential flooding, storm surges and critical infrastructure needs is needed the most throughout Lower Manhattan, especially in Battery Park City.”
Anthony Notaro, chair of Community Board 1 added that, “implementing resiliency measures to protect our homes, schools, business and very lives is paramount to Community Board 1.”
BPCA president Benjamin Jones remarked that, “this vital legislation, in coordination with the Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency project, is integral to our efforts to protect Battery Park City. Taking action against the effects of climate change, particularly severe flooding, is of utmost importance to BPCA. With our elected officials’ and community’s support, we’re closer to making these protections a reality. With their ongoing assistance, we also continue to make progress on other local priorities, such as affordability and sustainability.”
Currently, State law authorizes the BPCA to borrow up to $350 million. This measure amends the agency’s enabling legislation to allow for design and construction of resiliency measures, by providing the Authority with a separate, one-time bonding capacity not to exceed $500 million. According to a statement from Ms. Niou and Mr. Kavanagh, this additional half a billion dollars will be used to cover the costs of, “flood protection measures, infrastructural metalwork, sidewalk repairs, sidewalk improvements, electrical grid improvements, security barriers, interim resiliency measures, and other critical work.”
After passing both houses of the State legislature, the bill goes to the desk of Governor Andrew Cuomo for his signature or veto. Although has has not yet done either, he is expected to approve the measure and sign it into law.