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Published: Tuesday, 9/11/2012 - Updated: 3 years ago

Agreement reached for 9/11 museum

Electronic images of victims of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, part of a future touch-screen display. Electronic images of victims of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, part of a future touch-screen display.

NEW YORK -- An agreement paving the way for the completion of the Sept. 11 museum at ground zero was reached Monday, the eve of the 11th anniversary of the terror attacks.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the foundation that controls the National September 11 Memorial & Museum reached the accord.

The museum was to open this month, but construction all but ceased a year ago because of a funding squabble between the foundation and the Port Authority, which owns the World Trade Center site.

Three powerful political figures became entangled in the dispute: The governors of New York and New Jersey control the Port Authority, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is the foundation's chairman.

"By ensuring that no additional public funds are spent to complete the memorial and museum," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, "today's agreement puts in place a critical and long overdue safeguard to finally protect toll payers and taxpayers from bearing further costs, and, at the same time, put the project on a path for completion."

The memorandum of understanding addresses issues including coordination of the site and general financial terms but doesn't go into detail on financing. The agreement outlines that the memorial will have six months' operating expenses on hand 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.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said in a statement he was "gratified to be a part of a unified commitment and agreement with Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg to immediately resume around the clock construction at the 9/11 Museum."

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