NEW YORK (AP) — The governors of New York and New Jersey called Saturday for the National Park Service to take a role in funding and managing the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center site.
“As governors of the states with jurisdiction over the World Trade Center site, we believe that federal support through the National Park Service would ensure long term stability of the Memorial and Museum, ensure the best possible visitor experience by taking advantage of the Park Service’s expertise,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Gov. Chris Christie said in a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
The memorial and museum are run by a private foundation led by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The memorial featuring cascading waterfalls in the footprints of the towers opened last year on the 10th anniversary of the 2001 attacks, but work on the underground museum has stalled after a funding dispute with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Since then, several groups and agencies have raised concern about the museum’s long-term fiscal health.
Michael Frazier, a spokesman for the memorial foundation, noted that Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii has introduced legislation that would provide $20 million a year in federal support for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
“We are pleased Governors Cuomo and Christie are voicing their support for the bill, and we look forward to working with them on passing this vital legislation,” Frazier said.
The Inouye bill has been blocked by Sen. Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, who has demanded that co-sponsors of the bill come up with cuts to pay for the spending.
Any Park Service role would have to be approved by Congress.