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Funding for new Penn Station questioned by MTA board member

One of Mayor de Blasio’s appointees wants to know where the MTA’s share is coming from

At least one MTA board member has concerns about Governor Andrew Cuomo’s newly unveiled plans to revamp Penn Station, reports the Wall Street Journal.

"This agency has been stressed significantly over the past few years," said de Blasio appointee Veronica Vanterpool at the first board meeting since Cuomo presented the plan. "I’m concerned about any additional projects that were not originally identified as priorities now becoming priorities."

The WSJ breaks down the numbers: As it currently stands, the MTA would be responsible for more than $150 million of the $1.5 billion plan to create a new 255,000-square-foot train hall in the James A. Farley post office building, across the street from what is now Penn Station. The agency’s funding will go towards "the comprehensive redesign of the LIRR’s existing 33rd Street concourse at Penn Station and an extensive renovation to the adjacent Seventh and Eighth Avenue subway stations," according to the detailed plans released by the Governor’s office earlier this week.

But it isn’t necessarily clear how exactly the MTA will come up with that money. Would the MTA reallocate money from existing projects, asked Vanterpool, or would the state be shifting more funds to the MTA?

Not everyone shares her concerns, though. According to the Journal, both MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast and former Bronx borough president Fernando Ferrer, who sits on the board—both of whom are Cuomo appointees, hmmm—didn’t seem especially worried.

And an MTA spokesperson told the Journal that "the authority’s existing budget already includes some of the funding for portions of the New York City subway that would be affected by the project." Okay!