Flushing Money

The Story

Waste and corruption in government spending are nothing new, but it’s still alarming to hear about supposedly small projects becoming much more expensive and time-consuming than seems reasonable. A playground bathroom recently completed in Brooklyn cost $2 million to build and was finished seven years late, for example. Lax management is one problem; the cost of construction in New York City—with its prevailing-wage rules—is another.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Labor: Prevailing-wage laws, meant to encourage union hiring, result in 25% higher construction costs in NYC. Read more.

  2. Cost: The cost of construction for new libraries in New York City is $930 per square foot, double the cost of building office space. Read more.

  3. Slow: Forty-three Parks Department projects have been stalled for more than five years. Read more.

“I’m frustrated that we are essentially wasting taxpayer money. You can build a complete house in six months for $1 million dollars.”

Council Member David Greenfield

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

A Constructive Change By John A. Barnes (Summer 1995)

Anyone who’s ever tried to plaster two bricks together in New York has horror stories about the city’s Building Department.”

Featured Event

Urban Planning & Smart Infrastructure Panel
Moderated by Nicole Gelinas
Manhattan Institute senior fellow
and City Journal contributing editor
July 13, 2017 | New York, NY


And in other news...

“Mayor de Blasio’s controversial Renewal Schools program for troubled public schools is working — but it costs more than Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s old method of hitting them with an ‘F,’ a new report says.”