Relations Still Chilly At NY/NJ Port Authority

Friday, April 28, 2000
It may be the end of April, but there was no spring thaw at Thursday's board meeting of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Port Authority commissioners had been expected to vote on a $3.9 billion capital and operating budget, which would have signaled some movement on an impasse that has held up major projects for the agency.

However, Chairman Lewis M. Eisenberg said the budget had been discussed among board members, but a decision was made not to take a vote. No reason was given for the inaction.

Board members have been paralyzed on the major items pending resolution of a 16-month dispute between New York Gov. George Pataki and New Jersey Gov. Christie Whitman over Port Authority revenues.

During that time, the board has either canceled meetings, or included only perfunctory matters on the agenda. The last significant item approved was in June 1999, when the board approved billion-dollar expansion projects at Newark International Airport and JFK International Airport.

The impasse has already backed up trade and is costing extra storage charges and delays in availability of freight, officials said.

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