The church that was destroyed was a small church with a very small membership. It was only open two days per week. The replacement church planned is six times bigger. $4 million has been raised so far for the construction. The cost -- ignoring issues of the security platform which would be paid by the Port Authority -- was estimated at over $20 million for construction alone. The church has basically been trying to get the cost funded by the public with little success. The exchange of properties began when the church objected to an entrance being proposed for the new memorial. What the PA has said is simply that they are welcome to build on the property they own. The PA will pay fair market value for underground rights but provide no other special consideration. That is sometimes what happens when you push too far in a negotiation where you are being given something to which you do not have any actual legal claim. The fact that the "gift" was promised years ago by a former Governor doesn't help the church in its arguments. No one around today would have made the original commitment. Maybe the chiurch would have been smarter to simply say "Thank you." At this point, they are no longer being offered that option.
Originally Posted by dixidawg
None of this has anything to do with the mosque, since the mosque has not requested special consideration from anyone. Rather, others have asked to have laws bent to prevent the mosque from being built. The mosque is obviously allowed to raise funds from any legal source that it chooses. Under US law, it may not accept money from terrorist groups, but is otherwise unencumbered. As far as we know, almost no money has been raised to date and they may never succeed in raising the amounts needed. That is their problem. They are not the ones asking taxpayers to foot the bill.