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Andrew Cuomo, Michael Bloomberg hail pact on 9/11 museum

Artifacts from the collection of the National September

Artifacts from the collection of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum are displayed at the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site on Vesey Street. Seen here are gloves, pick ax, Ground Zero access badge, American flag pin with St. Anthony medal, and a police helmet with mask that are a gift of Det. David Brink of the NYPD Emergency Service Unit. (July 16, 2012) Credit: Charles Eckert

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg are hailing a pact that may restart by the end of the month the construction of the 9/11 museum at Ground Zero, a project that had stalled over funding disputes even as the 9/11 memorial was completed.

"I'm very gratified that on the eve of this important anniversary we are able to announce an agreement that will ensure the completion of the 9/11 museum," Bloomberg, who chairs the National September 11 Memorial & Museum board, said in a statement.

The project languished because of financial disputes between the National September 11 Memorial & Museum Foundation and the Port Authority, which is controlled by Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

"Over the last few years, we have made extraordinary progress at Ground Zero and today's agreement is yet another milestone in our work to finally complete the site as a place where people from around the world can come to work, visit and remember," Cuomo said in a statement.

The memorandum of understanding announced Monday addresses issues including coordination of the site and general financial terms but doesn't go into detail on specific levels of financing.

The agreement outlines that the memorial will have six months' operating expenses on hand as net working capital and that it will give the Port Authority a security deposit equal to six months' utility expenses, but it doesn't say what those figures are.

It remains unclear how the foundation will cover the costs of running the museum, once it does open, although the agreement calls for the memorial and the Port Authority to work together to try for federal funding.

With The Associated Press

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