Monday, August 10, 2009
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is the newest entrant in the stimulus tracking sweepstacks, with Open Book New York. The site lets you find the names of stimulus contractors and what theyr'e doing, but only to a point -- where money goes through a local government, the money trail stops ...
Thursday, June 11, 2009
By Matthew Schuerman : Editor, WNYC
Monday, April 06, 2009
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
By Matthew Schuerman : Editor, WNYC
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
By Bob Hennelly
Back in 2002, Xanadu, the 2.3 million square foot mega entertainment and retail complex, was intended as a way for New Jersey’s Sport and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) to rebrand its aging Meadowlands Complex. The NJSEA was facing the loss of three of its sports franchises, the Devils, the Nets and the Jets. For years, the commercial potential of the sports complex, just 25 minutes from New York City, had never really materialized. The site was only accessible by auto and traffic jams plagued its busiest days.
New Jersey is always strapped for transportation dollars. So the odds were stacked against the NJSEA to get the hundreds of millions needed for a mass transit link that would only serve Sunday football fans. But if they could add a “Xanadu', that would also include office and hotel development, the Sports Authority could make its case.
Xanadu, As Built, March 17, 2009
Listen to Hennelly's tale of Xanadu:
The Port Authority did shell out $182 million for the 2.3-mile rail spur that ties the entire Meadowlands complex into New Jersey Transit’s rail network. The NJSEA kicked in over $6 million to buy land it needed to complete the rail right of way, also a Superfund site in the midst of remediation.
A rail spur that was supposed to cost $150 million would cost almost 30 percent more and be years behind schedule. It is scheduled now to open in June. As far as holding on to the three sports franchises for the NJSEA? It was one for three. The Devils skated to Newark, the Nets look to be bouncing to Brooklyn and the Jets landed in the neighborhood. They teamed up with the Giants to build a brand new stadium. Was the private public partnership a “win win? Time will tell. Xanadu says it is 70 percent leased, but concedes it does not yet have an anchor retail tenant.
The History: The Vision, Early Supporters, Key Documents
Images courtesy of Meadowlands Xanadu
'A world of opportunity'
Monday, March 16, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Despite the hype over shovel-ready projects, and a list 787 transit projects that are "ready-to-go within 90 days", it's going to take well over a year before the $8.4 billion that the federal stimulus bill allocates for mass transit is actually spent.
Last week, the Federal Transit Administration put out its regulations on spending that money (PDF). They stipulate that half of the money allocated to a particular state or transit agency must be "obligated" within the next six months, and the rest of it in the following six months.
But "obligate" means simply this: that the FTA agrees that the local transit agency is planning to spend the money in an appropriate way. It does not mean that the agency has to have put the project out to bid by that point, much less that it be put under contract.
Monday, March 09, 2009
By Amy Eddings
Friday, March 06, 2009
Mayor Bloomberg's staff has been all over the state in the last two days, slapping them upside the head for "shorting" the city Medicaid stimulus money to the tune of $200 million -- or $600 million -- depending on how severe unemployment gets in the city. (The state says its ...
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Craig Jennings, the federal fiscal policy director at OMB Watch, still has concerns about the level of transparency in the stimulus bill. Tracking on Recovery.gov will be 'pretty useful,' he says -- 'but not ideal.' For example the level of disclosure only requires contract summaries down to the subcontractor level. Say New York gets federal money (making New York the contractor) for a bridge. The contractor building the bridge -- e.g. ABCXYZ Construction -- is the sub, and the contract summary stops there. If ABCXYZ hires Concrete Boots to provide the asphalt, we won't necessarily know. Moreover, if the state gives money to the city, the city is technically the sub, and that contract trail ends.
Friday, February 20, 2009
A coalition of New York groups, spearheaded by Common Cause/New York, is seeking to have Governor Paterson agree to a high level of disclosure standards (something New York state government historically hasn't championed) for economic stimulus money (in line with President Obama's promise that "every dollar" will be ...
Thursday, February 19, 2009
'Transparency' is the buzzword of the day, but looks like, in conference, stimulus package negotiators removed some provisions that would make stimulus $$ easier to track. To wit, an OMBWatch report says, language requiring that each contract or grant be posted on the internet fell out of the ...
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Wondering what’s in the stimulus bill? So were we. So here’s a table from the HOUSE appropriations committee on the spending THEY allocated. Of course, the Senate is working on massaging the numbers as we speak, but if you want to use an accurate working number, here you go: