Streams

Rennovation Delay Costing UN Millions a Day

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Delays in the renovation of the United Nations headquarters are costing $225,000 a day. And the UN official in charge of the renovation says the United States is holding things up. WNYC's Dan Blumberg has more.

The US is the lone holdout that must approve the project's next $100 million. But, Ambassador John Bolton says the US only wants to grant approval for $23.5 million because the General Assembly needs to agree on how to proceed with the $1.6 billion project.

Among other things, the overhaul will bring the UN into compliance with safety and fire codes and remove asbestos. If plans are not approved the next week or so they may be irreprably harmed, according to the UN's Fritz Reuter.

Reuter also says that the UN no longer wants to build a 35-story tower on state parkland adjacent to its East Side home. That tower was to serve as a temporary headquarters during renovations, but Republican lawmakers in Albany refused to sign off on the tower, partly because of quarrels they had with UN's policies. Just last week Mayor Bloomberg called on Albany to reconsider the tower, but Reuter now says it would cost too much in delays to try to push the legislation through. Instead, the UN plans to lease space at nearby buildings.

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