Another day, another public megaproject from Gov. Cuomo — this one, an overhaul of Kennedy Airport, with a cool $10 billion price tag. Just don’t ask how he’s going to pay for it.
Cuomo says JFK is badly in need of upgrades. He’s calling for a major makeover of its terminals and access roads — and public transit to get there. Who could argue? JFK is a nightmare to get to — and use.
Confusing, disorganized and it’s far from the airport that a global commercial center and top tourist destination deserves. But how to pay for the overhaul? Cuomo says $7 billion will come from airlines and developers who’ll lease out space, but that’s not remotely locked in. Maybe he can get the Port Authority to kick in a billion or two — but the PA’s New Jersey side won’t go along without something at least as big for the Garden State.
How high will tolls on the PA bridges and tunnels have to go? “Mystery money” is a recurring Cuomo problem. The new Tappan Zee Bridge project is zooming to a finish — yet the governor still hasn’t said how he’s covering the full $4 price tag. Expect Thruway tolls to soar.
Heck, huge questions remain about financing for the $100 billion infrastructure plans Cuomo laid out in last year’s State of the State Address. Another big Cuomo building push, the Buffalo Billion, is now the center of a corruption scandal that has several of his closest ( )associates facing criminal charges. Consider one subject of some of those charges: Syracuse.
com reported Thursday that the $15 million “film hub” outside that city sits empty, having created one job instead of the 350 that Cuomo promised. Time and again, the governor has focused on the headlines at the expense of practical realities and basics. Yet when the bills finally come due, it’s New York’s already overburdened citizens who’ll be stuck with the tab.