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Yassky to city: Hold Ratner accountable

The Brooklyn Paper

A City Councilman slammed city economic development officials for allocating $205 million to the Atlantic Yards mega-development without getting a guarantee that developer Bruce Ratner will make good on all of his promises to Brooklyn.

The $205-million budget item was formally approved this week by the Council, despite a call by David Yassky (D–Brooklyn Heights) for the city to make sure that Ratner actually provides the job training and education programs he promised in a “Community Benefit Agreement” that helped the developer gain critical black support for the controversial project.

“Taxpayers are putting millions of dollars into this project, [so] there must be a way to guarantee all of the benefits that [Ratner] promised hundreds of times,” Yassky said after the Tuesday hearing.

The CBA was signed by Mayor Bloomberg, former Gov. Pataki, Ratner and the leaders of several community groups, some of which did not exist before the CBA was drafted.

A spokesman for ACORN, the CBA signatory that will administer the project’s affordable housing, said that the group felt “confident” that the developer would come through.

A city official said a deal is in the works that will insure that the developer fulfills “critical” elements of the CBA.

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