Brooklyn – Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman submitted the following testimony at a public hearing held by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) on the proposed modifications to the General Project Plan (GPP) for Brooklyn Bridge Park. Thanks to the request of Assemblywoman Millman and Senator Daniel Squadron, the new operating agreement includes a committee dedicated to exploring funding alternatives to housing in the park.
Testimony Presented to:
Empire State Development Corporation
Joan L. Millman
Member of Assembly, 52nd Assembly District
Re: Proposed Modifications to the General Project Plan
Thank you for the opportunity to testify tonight regarding the modification of the General Project Plan (GPP) for Brooklyn Bridge Park.
As a signatory to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), it is obvious that I support the modification. It will expedite the completion of the park because the city is in much better fiscal shape. I, along with Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Paterson and State Senator Squadron, have worked hard to ensure that the long anticipated dream of a world class park is fulfilled. The modification to the GPP will result in the immediate injection of $55 million in new funds for park construction and, equally as important, local control of the park.
I understand some of the community’s concerns about the new Brooklyn Bridge Park Operating Entity (BBPOE) that will be responsible for the operational control and financial responsibility of the park. I have some of my own. Those concerns, however, are allayed by the accountability this board will have as compared to the current operating entity. Senator Squadron and I made the decision to ask for “veto” power over the new board’s approval to develop residential housing on the John Street and Pier 6 development parcels. With this power, comes great risk and responsibility on our part; however, we are willing to bear this burden to guarantee that a transparent, comprehensive and meaningful process is undertaken by the Subcommittee on Alternatives to Housing (SAH).
I applaud the city for its commitment to provide the funding for the park and its willingness to listen to the community’s call for year-round recreational opportunities, such as the skating rink, an indoor recreational facility at Pier 5 and the floating pool. I look forward to a new partnership with the city to build this much needed park. I believe this partnership will usher in a new era of cooperation and community participation to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard.