The Committee on Alternatives to Housing of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation’s board met this afternoon and, by a vote of 4-2, forwarded the final report of Bay Area Economics, the consultants hired by the board to study alternatives to housing as sources of revenue to fund park operation and maintenance, to the full board. At its next meeting, the board will consider the report’s recommendations concerning alternate sources, and vote on which of them to act on. Since the alternate sources identified in the report are not projected to produce sufficient revenue to meet projected expenses, at best they can be expected to reduce the scale of the housing needed. Following the board’s action, the Committee on Alternatives will be dissolved.
Voting against forwarding the report were John Raskin, appointed to the board by State Senator Daniel Squadron, and Anne Strahle, appointed by Assemblywoman Joan Millman. Raskin strongly criticized the report’s exclusion of possible revenues from the Watchtower properties, as had City Council Member Steve Levin and a representative from the office of Council Member Brad Lander at the full board meeting earlier. Raskin characterized the report as “a document produced for City Hall.” Committee member and President of the City’s Economic Development Corporation Seth Pinsky replied that consideration of the Watchtower properties was properly excluded because the proposal to use payments in lieu of taxes on these properties as a revenue source would violate the requirement that no revenues to which the City is entitled be diverted for park use, and because of timing and risk factors associated with revenues from the Watchtower properties.