Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Funding for 9/11 Memorials

Funding for 9/11 Memorials
Al Ritter

I was curious as to who funded the 9/11 Memorials so I embarked upon a research project. The three sites have very special needs and of course with those needs come required funds. I only researched the builds on the memorials, not the rebuilding of buildings. Of course the monumental damage done to the 16 square acres in NY was the most devastating in both lives and structural damage. The Pentagon was next on the list with catastrophic building damage. Lastly the Shanksville, Pennsylvania crash site. I will give you every bit of funding I could discover from all three sites.

New York, Ground Zero

This was the most emotionally charged site of all. Early emotion decisions finally gave way to more logical ideas on how best to utilize the sixteen acres destroyed in the two plane crashes. Originally $500 was designated for the Memorials at ground zero, but that figure was later downgraded to $300 million.

A foundation was set up controlled by a 36 member board to not only do fundraising but to make decisions on the final usage of the site. Many hours were spent hearing from victim’s families on their personal ideas as to the design of any and all Memorials.

Gov. Pataki designated $80 million of his 2006-07 executive state budget to the building of to the building of some sort of Memorial to be decided on at a later date. Congress also earmarked $2.78 million to the project. The Department of the Interior has designated the 8 acres of the Memorial as a Nation Park. It has been suggested but not mandated that entry to the Museum area will request a $20 donation for continued funding and maintenance. Victim’s families will never be charged any admission costs for passage to the Museum. Outside entry will always be free. Additional funding for the site has been started by the U.S. Mint in the form of a memorial coin which hopes to raise an additional $20 million to the pot. Of course private donations are the lesser amount and continue to trickle in.

Mayor Bloomberg has offered a personal donation for an unspecified amount. Additional funds for future upkeep and maintenance has been suggested in Congress for the amount of $20 million yearly for staffing and upkeep, however some estimate that the staggering figure will be closer to $55 to $60 million.

The Pentagon

Figures for this Memorial were somewhat harder to get. Because this was basically a military building, the rebuild had to be of the utmost importance to return it to functional mode. The rebuild of the Pentagon was done the fastest and the Memorial although primarily confined to the outside area has made some small concessions to inside the building Memorials. The original budget for Memorials was a conservative $32 million compared to the other sites. The actual cost of phase one was $22 million with an additional $10 million for extension into phase 2 and initial planning. The Pentagon has declared all money for this project was from donations. Some claim that almost all those donations came from Defense Dept. contractors. One donation came from Taiwan in the amount of $1 million. The Pentagon was the first site to not only reopen the building from crash damage but to dedicate its Memorial in 2008. It was announced on September 9, 2011 that phase two will start shortly and a fund drive will be $3 to $4 million to plan for the Visitor Education Center to be built somewhere close to the crash site.

Shanksville, PA Crash of Flight 93

Shanksville, PA is known for its remote location, and therefore creates another special challenge for funding. Once a strip mining area now turned into another Federal Park to the tune of 2200 acres. The Memorial property once owned by a strip mining operation has been acquired and added to by private surrounding properties. Some property was purchased and some was acquired by eminent domain as a buffer zone. Figures for the Memorial do not include property acquisition. The figures for the Memorial were equally hard to obtain. The initial budget was $62 million so far $19 million in private donations and $32 million in state and federal funds have been used. Although the total budget is dwarfed by say New York’s Memorial fund (New York State’s governor’s participation would have paid for the entire Shanksville Project,) the Flight 93 memorial still lags behind by $10 million for completion.

There you have it patriots, the numbers I could find just in case you were curious like me!

1 comment:

barb p said...

Well thank you Mr. Ritter...you always enlighten!