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Cortlandt Balks at Giving Funds to 9/11 Memorial

CORTLANDT, N.Y. – A monkey wrench has been tossed into plans to build a scaled down tri-municipal 9/11 Remembrance Memorial at Croton Landing in Croton.

The majority of the Cortlandt Town Board opposed on Monday night placing a resolution on a voting agenda to contribute $15,000 to the project,which has been a joint effort between Cortlandt and the villages of Croton and Buchanan.

According to Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi, Croton has agreed to give $3,900 and Buchanan $1,100 to the first phase of the memorial, which is slated to feature a large boulder, a sun dial and a steel beam that was once part of the north tower of the World Trade Center.

"It's an important statement from our community to remember those who have died," Puglisi said. "This is sacred. I know some of the families whose loved ones perished."

However, town Board members John Sloan, who said he wasn't going to "get sacred guilt," Frank Farrell and Ann Lindau all raised different objections to Cortlandt committing taxpayer funds, specifically balking that the town would contribute more than the villages when the memorial will be located in Croton. (Board member Richard Becker did not attend Monday night's work session.)

A volunteer task force, led by Croton resident Janet Mainiero, had been looking to have the memorial completed by the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but fundraising proved to be a challenge. The task force has $15,000 set aside for the first phase and a construction team offering free services seemingly had the project on track for completion by Sept. 11 of this year.

Without Cortlandt's expected share, though, Mainiero said she is uncertain what the future holds.

"At the very least we are disappointed in the board members for not rallying behind this very important and significant project for us and generations to come about this important event in our history," Mainiero said. "They're not dealing with it as an asset to the town. They're dealing with it as some sort of personal issue for some reason."

"This task force is very eager to build something to show the public we're serious, committed and hopeful," she said. "We want to continue that momentum to finish the statue and meditation garden. Once the public sees that initial building, that would get people excited and want to help out."

Puglisi said her colleagues' lack of commitment was disappointing.

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