CB1 Wants a Voice in How to Allocate BPCA Funds Collected Here, Sent Elsewhere
Battery Park City buildings line Rockefeller Park along River Terrace.
Local leaders are demanding a commitment from elected officials and the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) for a voice in deciding how future excess revenues are allocated, in order to avoid reprising a decade-old deal that earmarked $861 million for use outside the community, without any public input.
At its December meeting, Community Board 1 (CB1) enacted a resolution that focuses on the BPCA’s excess revenues, which the Authority defines as the balance of monies from the agency’s various income streams—such as “ground rent” and payment in lieu of taxes (both paid by residents)—remaining after the BPCA covers costs such as maintenance, programming, operations, capital projects, and debt service. These excess revenues accumulate in a BPCA account called the Joint Purpose Fund. Distribution of these proceeds to various entities is governed by a 1980 Settlement Agreement between the City and the BPCA, which is periodically amended by the Mayor, the City Comptroller, and the Governor (represented by the Authority board, which the Governor appoints).
At issue in the CB1 resolution is the most recent amendment to the Settlement Agreement, which was negotiated in 2010. At that time, Mike Bloomberg, John Liu, and David Paterson (then Mayor, Comptroller, and Governor, respectively) agreed to commit the next $861 million of BPCA excess revenue that accumulated in the Joint Purpose Fund to four recipients: the City’s General Fund, the State’s General Fund, and the City’s affordable housing budget (which each received $200 million), with the remaining $261 million directed to the City’s Capital Fund to fund affordable housing.
This arrangement was negotiated by the Mayor, Governor, and Controller without any public discussion, and then announced as a fait accompli. It sparked fury among Battery Park City residents and community leaders, because many of them wanted to see such funds used (at least in part) to increase affordability for renters and homeowners in the community, and they concluded that the prospects for such affordability measures are dimmed when nearly $1 billion dollars in BPCA funds are allocated outside the community.
The BPCA recently announced that it has fulfilled its commitments under the terms of the 2010 amendment to the Settlement Agreement, with the result the Joint Purpose Fund has begun to accumulate funds once more. This development led CB1 to begin considering what is likely to come next for the Joint Purpose Fund, and a possible new version of the Settlement Agreement.
The resolution enacted by CB1 in December notes that, “it is imperative that the residents of Battery Park City are finally given a seat at the table with the Mayor, Comptroller and BPCA and included in all discussions/negotiations/designations of the Joint Purpose Fund’s different, specific needs going forward.”
The same measure calls upon the Mayor, the Comptroller and the BPCA to “include at least one member of CB1, and at least one person whose primary residence is in Battery Park City in all negotiations of the next iteration of Settlement Agreement,” and further urges “all parties to these negotiations to commit to transparency.”
As Justine Cuccia, chair of CB1’s Battery Park City Committee (who is also a candidate for the New York State Assembly) noted at the December meeting, “how these funds are spent has a direct impact on the lives of residents, and on whether they can continue to afford to live in the neighborhood they helped to build. So we deserve a voice in any decisions that affect our futures.”
BPCA Spokesman Nick Sbordone said that, “Battery Park City is uniquely situated among New York City neighborhoods in that money from this community first funds operations and capital investments to maintain our 92 acres, with the remainder then spent by the City on vital public services. We have long encouraged the Community Board to provide its thoughts on its priorities, as all New Yorkers should have a voice in ensuring that public resources are used where they are needed most.”
(Editor’s Note: Ms. Cuccia is related to the reporter who wrote this story.)
23 and NYPD
Downtown Non-Profit Sues to Halt DNA Collection from New Yorkers Convicted of No Crime
A non-profit based in Lower Manhattan is suing the City, along with two of its agencies, to halt what it describes as, “the illegal, secret seizure and storage of DNA material from New Yorkers—including children—whom the police suspected of committing a crime without obtaining a warrant or court order.”
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Yuh-Line Niou Announces Candidacy for Newly Created Lower Manhattan Congressional District
In the wake of a decision about Congressional district lines announced last week by the court-appointed Special Master charged with drawing new, less partisan boundaries, State Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou has announced her candidacy to represent Lower Manhattan in the United States House of Representatives. Ms. Niou is seeking to represent in Washington the newly created Tenth Congressional District, which includes Lower Manhattan (roughly below 14th Street) and parts of Kings County, stretching from Downtown Brooklyn, south to Sunset Park.
Latin social dance workshop with Ballet Hispánico, one of the nation’s largest Latinx dance organizations. This all ages dance session features Tempo Alegre playing salsa, merengue, Afro-Cuban and other Latinx music that will get you up and moving! Free.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the end of the nine-month rescue, recovery, and relief efforts at Ground Zero, film director Bridget Gormley, retired FDNY firefighter Robert Serra, and former police officer Phil Alvarez share their personal recollections of 9/11 and its aftermath and reflect on how their experiences influenced a fervent commitment to advocacy on behalf of those continuing to suffer from 9/11-related health effects. Free.
Visit the exhibitions and the ships of the South Street Seaport Museum for free. At 12 Fulton Street, see “South Street and the Rise of New York” and “Millions: Migrants and Millionaires aboard the Great Liners, 1900-1914,” and at Pier 16, explore the tall ship Wavertree and lightship Ambrose.
The Honorable William Wall (aka the Willy Wall), is the floating clubhouse of the Manhattan Yacht Club, anchored just north of Ellis Island. It’s open to the public for parties and picnics, sunset enjoyment and sailboat racing excitement. The Admiral’s Launch provides transportation to and from the Willy Wall, departing from club headquarters in Jersey City. Launch tickets are $20 on weekdays, $30 on weekends. Get to the club by PATH, ferry or Uber/Lyft.
A graduate from Columbia University with a Ph.D. in international law and diplomacy in 1912, Wellington Koo (顾维钧) witnessed and participated in many historical international events in the Republican era of China. He was China’s plenipotentiary to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, where he made a decision that would steer the history of China and leave his mark on world history by refusing to sign the Treaty of Versailles; served as the Ambassador to France, Great Britain and the United States; was a participant in the founding of the League of Nations and the United Nations; and sat as a judge on the International Court of Justice in The Hague from 1957 to 1967. Between October 1926 and June 1927, while serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Koo briefly held the concurrent positions of acting Premier and interim President of the Republic of China. While his presidency was brief, his extraordinary lifespan of 97 years makes him the longest-living person to ever have led China. Free.
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
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Worked in BPC.
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Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets
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Bowling Green Greenmarket
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The Outdoor Fulton Stall Market
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Indoor market: Monday through Saturday,11:30am-5pm
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Today in History
Ellis Island has a New Jersey zip code, as determined on this day in 1998.
451 – The (Persian) Sasanian Empire defeats the Armenian rebels in the Battle of Avarayr , on a plain near what is now the Iranian city of Maku, but guarantees them freedom to openly practice Christianity.
1293 – An earthquake strikes Kamakura, Japan, killing about 30,000.
1637 – In Mystic, Connecticut, a combined English and Mohegan force under John Mason massacres approximately 500 Pequots.
1647 – Alse Young becomes the first person executed as a witch in the American colonies, when she is hanged in Hartford, Connecticut
1805 – Napoléon Bonaparte assumes the title of King of Italy and is crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in Milan Cathedral.
1805 – Lewis and Clark see the Rocky Mountains for the first time
1828 – Kaspar Hauser, a mysterious feral child, is found wandering the streets of Nuremberg.
1879 – Russia and the United Kingdom sign the Treaty of Gandamak establishing an Afghan state.
1897 – Dracula, a novel by the Irish author Bram Stoker, is published.
1897 – The original manuscript of William Bradford’s history, Of Plymouth Plantation, is returned to the Governor of Massachusetts by the Bishop of London after being taken during the American Revolutionary War.
1927 – The Ford Motor Company produces the last (and 15th million) Model TFord/Tin Lizzie
1972 – The United States and the Soviet Union sign the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
1977 – George Willig climbs the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
1998 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules that Ellis Island, the historic gateway for millions of immigrants, is mainly in the state of New Jersey, not New York.
1264 – Prince Koreyasu, Japanese shogun (d. 1326)
1566 – Mehmed III, Ottoman sultan (d. 1603)
1886 – Al Jolson, Lithuanian-American singer and actor (d. 1950)
1907 – John Wayne, American actor, singer, director, and producer (d. 1979)
1926 – Miles Davis, American trumpet player, composer, and bandleader (d. 1991)
1928 – Jack Kevorkian, American pathologist, author, and activist (d. 2011)
1966 – Zola Budd, South African runner
1975 Lauryn Hill, American singer-songwriter
604 – Augustine of Canterbury, Benedictine monk and archbishop
1421 – Mehmed I, Ottoman sultan (b. 1389)
1999 – Paul Sacher, Swiss conductor and philanthropist (b. 1906)
2008 – Sydney Pollack, American actor, director, and screenwriter (b. 1934)
2017 – Zbigniew Brzezinski, Polish-American national security advisor to President Carter (1977-1981), dies at 89
2019 – Bart Starr, American Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback, coach