FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 29, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES NEW AGREEMENTS TO SAVE MONEY ON - AND INVEST MORE IN - MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, November 29, 2009
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"When there's a budget crunch, city governments all too often cut back on maintaining and upgrading essential infrastructure. That's what New York City did during the fiscal crisis of the 1970s - and for years afterwards, we all paid a steep price in fixing bridges, sewers, and other facilities after they'd already broken down. So we're not taking that path again. Investing in our infrastructure creates jobs and economic opportunity, now and in the future too. And not making those investments is just short-sighted. Even in tough times - no, especially in tough times - these are projects we can't afford not to build.
"That's why last week we joined the city's construction unions in announcing a set of long-term agreements that will keep such public works moving forward. These agreements will cover some $5.3 billion worth of projects, big and small. They'll include our new Police Academy in College Point, as well as the renovated schools, fire stations, recreation centers, and other facilities that our growing city needs. And we're also working with the construction unions on another, similar agreement that will cover more than $500 million more in such vital public works projects.
"The agreements we've reached to date are designed to prevent costly strikes and work slowdowns and reduce other delays and expenses; altogether, they'll save taxpayers almost $300 million over the next four years. We'll re-invest those savings in building dozens more infrastructure projects that we'd otherwise have to delay. That's going to produce some 1,800 additional construction jobs in the process. So not only will the taxpayers win; so will the construction workers who've been hit so hard by the national recession.
"They're not the only New Yorkers who'll benefit from these agreements. The unions also said 'yes' to measures that will make it easier for more minority- and women-owned businesses to participate in the City projects covered by the agreements. And in a separate "memorandum of understanding," the Building and Construction Trades Council and the Building Trades Employers' Association also pledged to fill 45 percent of future building trades apprenticeships with women, minorities, newly returning veterans, and recent graduates of the city's public high schools. That's going to put thousands of New Yorkers who need jobs on course to good careers building our city's future.
"And last week, New York State's highest court moved us closer to realizing a major piece of that future, in its 6-1 decision concerning Brooklyn's proposed Atlantic Yards development. The court's ruling was a long step forward for a project that will spur extensive investment in new offices, stores, and thousands of units of new housing. It will also produce a new Brooklyn home arena for the Nets professional basketball team. All told, Atlantic Yards is expected to create some 8,000 new permanent jobs in Brooklyn. More immediately, building it is also going to produce nearly 17,000 of the new union construction jobs that New Yorkers need.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958