The New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the budgetary row that caused the delay in the opening of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center has been resolved and the construction of the museum will resume soon.
Although the museum was scheduled to open on the eleventh anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, its construction was stopped due to disparities between the 9/11 Memorial and Museum Foundation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the owner of the World Trade Center site.
However, according to a CNN report, all parties entered into a "memorandum of understanding" late Monday, allowing them to resume construction of the museum.
"My goal during this period has been to get construction on the museum restarted," CNN quoted Bloomberg, who is also the chairman of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum Foundation, as saying. "This agreement ensures that it will be restarted very soon and will not stop until the museum is completed."
CNN reported that the sum of $300 million, which "the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said it was owed to by the 9/11 Memorial and Museum Foundation for additional design and construction costs," was "dropped in exchange for financial oversight of the museum and memorial."
According to the memorandum, all parties will have to work toward opening individual sections of the museum once the construction restarts.
The website for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum foundation states that the National September 11 Memorial and Museum will have 110,000 square feet of exhibition space with many 9/11 artifacts, including "photographs, videotapes, voice messages, recovered property, clothing and other personal effects, workplace memorabilia, (and) incident-specific documents."
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum Foundation estimated that after the roughly $700 million project is complete, it would cost as many as $60 million a year to operate. The projected cost raised many eyebrows as it was much higher when compared to other similar projects.
As noted by the Associated Press, the National Park Service budgeted $8.4 million this year to operate and maintain the Gettysburg National Military Park while a sum of $3.6 million was estimated for the monument that includes the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.
In addition, the Arlington National Cemetery, which has over 14,000 graves and receives 4 million visitors annually, costs $45 million per year.
The AP report said that though the admission price for visitors has not been set yet, it's expected that if 2 million visitors visit the museum per year, "a $12 fee, like the one charged at the memorial to the victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, would cover 40 percent of the operating costs."
"More money will be generated through fundraising and the sale of memorabilia," the report added.