Nadler Introduces Bill to Fund World Trade Center Memorial

Nov 11, 2002 Issues: 9/11 Attacks

NEW YORK - The Federal government will assume a large chunk of construction costs and administration of a National Memorial at the World Trade Center site, but be expressly prohibited from dictating its design, or managing the site without local input if a new piece of legislation, introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), passes.

Rep. Nadler was joined by Louise Lo Presti of the Coalition of September 11th Families, with Jack Lynch, Lee Ielpi and other victims’ family members, for announcement of the World Trade Center National Memorial Act at a press conference today at the site of the temporary memorial at Battery Place in Manhattan.

“My legislation essentially says two things: First, the Federal government should assume a lot of the costs for construction and upkeep of the memorial, and second, they should not have a say in the design and should only administer it in conjunction with a local advisory board,” said Rep. Nadler.

Louise Lo Presti, who initiated National Memorial discussions with the National Park Service, said, “We are delighted that Congressman Nadler initiated this landmark legislation.    The World Trade Center National Memorial is the greatest tribute we can pay to the victims of this country’s gravest terrorist attack.  The proposed bill respects the Governor’s role to plan the Memorial without federal intervention, and provides for the completed Memorial to be transferred to the U.S. Government and operated as a National Park Service site.”

The World Trade Center National Memorial Act sets forth a process for the construction and upkeep of the memorial.  It is as follows:

I. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation creates whatever process it chooses -- completely independent of the federal government -- to plan and design the Memorial.

II. The Secretary of the Interior is authorized -- but not mandated -- to provide technical assistance in this process.  She must be invited to participate.

III. This process culminates in a report describing the boundaries and design for the Memorial, the public input involved, and any issues important to know for the long-term management of the memorial.  This report must be approved by the Mayor and the Governor.

IV. Once it has their approval, it is submitted to the Secretary of the Interior who has 90 days to approve or disapprove of the plan.  If the Secretary disapproves, she must submit in writing reasons for the disapproval and any recommendations for improving it.  If revisions are submitted, the Secretary has 45 days to approve or disapprove.

V. If the report is approved, such sums as may be necessary in matching funds are released for construction of the Memorial.

VI. Once the Memorial is completed, it is transferred, under agreement with the owner of the land, to the National Park Service to be managed as a unit of the National Park System.

VII. At the same time, the World Trade Center Memorial Advisory Board is created, consisting of one member recommended by each U.S. Senator, one member recommended by the House member representing the site, four members recommended by the Governor, four members recommended by the Mayor, and six members recommended by the President.

VIII. The Board shall operate as an advisor to the Park Service on the management of the Memorial, taking into consideration input from the public.

“I believe a national tragedy such as Sept. 11th deserves a national memorial.  However, I do not believe that there is any reason for local residents to be steamrolled by the Federal government,” said Rep. Nadler. “It is precisely for that reason that Federal contribution must be financial and nothing more.”

Rep. Nadler has served in Congress since 1992.  He represents the 8th Congressional District of New York, which includes parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, including the site of the World Trade Center.