Port Authority Can’t Account for $1.7 Billion in Budget


As the Port Authority continues to deal with the fallout from the results of an audit that called the organization “dysfunctional” and “bloated,” its board members are now trying to figure out why $1.7 billion in costs for the World Trade Center project weren’t included in the PA’s original budget.

At the PA’s board meeting yesterday, Port Authority authorities struggled to explain why the WTC site rebuilding would cost nearly two billion dollars more than projected costs from 2008.

Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler didn’t have the answers:

“There [were] costs that were left out of the budget in 2008. We haven’t been able to find some rationale as to why it wasn’t included. There’s a billion dollars of items that I would call traditional things that should have been included in those numbers that weren’t.”

Neither, it seems, did any of the other board members.

“I can’t answer the question of why something wasn’t included,” said Chairman David Sampson. One of the costs left out of the budget is the price of moving tenants into the new buildings at 1 World Trade Center, something that should have been included from the very beginning.

Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg suggested that the cost of remodeling the World Trade Center site was worth it if New York wanted to save interational face — it seems that in the rush to make sure a memorial happened (any memorial), silly little things like two billion extra dollars just didn’t seem all that important to account for.