Stimulus for Navy Yard - Bloomberg looks to fast-rack funding for BK projects

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The Bloomberg administration appears to be fast-tracking federal stimulus money for the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

According to Bloomberg documents obtained by this paper, the Navy Yard could be in line to receive $20 million in federal funds to replace water and infrastructure lines to conserve water and eliminate leaks, which undermine surface infrastructure.

The money would be additional to the $200 million in capital funding that Bloomberg allocated for Navy Yard in late 2006.

The document, authored by William Daly, Bloomberg’s director of Federal Legislative Affairs, suggested the money could come as part of a $1 billion grant to the city through the federal Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF).

The fund currently provides a lending mechanism to help states and local governments deal with infrastructure needs relating to water and sewage.

“Using the CWSRF to issue grants, rather than loans, would provide the city with new resources to maintain its water infrastructure, in addition to its currently committed capital program,” wrote Daly.

Daly wrote that providing the money in the form of a grant instead of a loan would allow the city to reduce future water rate increases and allow for more water and sewer infrastructure improvements citywide.

Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC) President Andrew Kimball refused comment on any federal stimulus money coming to the industrial park.

Established in 1801, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, located on the East River waterfront between the Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges, once employed thousands of people in the military shipbuilding industry.

Closed by the federal government in 1966, the city has since assumed ownership and re-opened the Yard as an industrial park. According to the BNYDC officials, the industrial park currently operates at 99 percent capacity and houses more than 240 private-sector firms employing about 5,000 permanent jobs, half of which are held by Brooklyn residents.

Additionally, the industrial park is home to between 500 and 1,000 temporary, production-related positions associated with Steiner Studios, a full-service production facility situated at the Navy Yard.

Separately, Kimball came to the recent Community Board 2 Land Use Committee to announce that construction is set to begin this summer on the $15 million Brooklyn Navy Yard Historical Center. The money includes $15 million in City Council funds and the rest to be raised privately.

The historical center will be housed in the former United States Marine Corps Commandant’s residence. Built in 1857, it is now known as Building 92.

Upon completion, the 25,000-square-foot facility will celebrate the Navy Yard’s past, present and future and will provide community meeting space and office facilities for the Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment (BCUE).

Updated 3:32 pm, October 19, 2011
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