STORY UPDATED, READ TO END
The U.S. Government wants its money — $271, 101,291 to be exact. According to NJ.com, this is the amount that was spent to date on the now-killed ARC tunnel construction project, which Governor Christie terminated (again) last month.
The November 24 letter, which was obtained by the Assocaited Press and quoted in NJ.com, states that the “FTA demands payment in full within 30 days from the date of this letter, hereinafter referred to as the ‘delinquency date,'”
Christie’s spokesperson, Michael Drewniak said this in a statement, released yesterday:
I have nothing to add to the issue at this time and refer you to prior statements from NJT and note that Sen. Lautenberg’s staff had said the Senator would be looking to see if they could assist the state in the matter.
Paul Wykoff, NJ Transit’s Senior Director, Public Affairs for The Tunnel Project sent NJT’s “prior statement” to Baristanet, in the form of a press release from 11/9:
NJ TRANSIT received the FTA request for repayment on November 8, 2010. At this time, we are reviewing the request, and are assessing our options. NJ TRANSIT does not agree that the issues are as clear cut as portrayed in the FTA letter.
Baristanet spoke with Brendan Gill, State Director for Senator Lautenberg at around 2:00 p.m. Gill said that the final amount of debt is still undetermined, but that $271M is a real number. “There’s not much wiggle room,” he explained, adding that the cost is “the consequence of Governor Christie’s decision” to discontinue the project. “I’m sure they thought this through before they made the decision.”
Gill said that the Senator and his staff will “do what we can to assist the state in lowering the obligation, but that no specific requests have come from the Governor’s office at this time. We’ll do our due diligence on behalf of the state, but ultimately NJ is going to have to solve the problem.”