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BatteryPark.TV previously reported on the botched “Visitor Center” that is now a stalled project inside of Pier-A. Funded by state bonds and a $4.2 Million grant from New York State Parks, the visitor center was supposed to take up 6,000 square feet of the second floor. Now, it will be on the first floor and only 2,000 square feet, at most. The only public informational component will be iPad kiosks.
According to a 2008 agreement between the New York State Parks Department (which issued the $4.2 Million grants back in the year 2000), and the BPCA (led by James Cavanaugh at the time), the visitor center detailed in 2000 was still to be constructed. It also allowed for changes to those original plans, but only if the changes were presented to the state, and the state approved them.
BatteryPark.TV used FOIL to obtain any agreements or permissions from the state to allow the BPCA to alter the design of the visitor center. The New York State Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation has no record of any BPCA application to change the design. Therefore, the current design of Pier-A is incomplete violation of a binding state contract, which means the $4.2 Million is misappropriation of state funds.
The CFO of the BPCA, Robert Serpico, is the man most accountable for preventing misappropriation of state funds. He reports to Chairman and CEO Dennis Mehiel, as well as president Shari Hyman.
(Correction: In a previous post, we added one extra zero in the estimates of square footage)