The New Jersey Legislature approved the state’s $46.4 billion budget this afternoon, which includes a $24 million allocation for Jersey City’s Pompidou Centre.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Governor Murphy has been committed to supporting transformational projects throughout the state and we are so thankful of his support tor the Pompidou Jersey City. From the beginning, he and First Lady Tammy Murphy have been essential parts of the process to lure this world class museum to Jersey City,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.
“Today’s actions by the state speaks to the importance of this museum to both Jersey City and beyond with regards to tourism and economic activity. This project is another huge step forward for our city and we are extremely proud of the progress we are making.”
At the beginning of this month, Fulop and the Murphys announced the Centre Pompidou x Jersey City project, the France-based Centre Pompidou’s only partnership in North America set to open in 2024.
Today, the governor’s office called the endeavor an “excellent investment” for Jersey City and the state.
“The Administration is proud and excited for Jersey City to be home of the Centre Pompidou’s first North American location. This will be an excellent investment for both Jersey City and our state at large by contributing to the existing rich cultural diversity that we are known for and attracting innovators, thinkers, and artists,” said Murphy spokeswoman Alyana Alfaro.
“We look forward to working with Jersey City and the Centre Pompidou on this world-class attraction that is coming to New Jersey and which will benefit residents for years to come.”
The Jersey City Council approved a memorandum of understanding last week that is the first step in committing to about $40 million for endeavor, which will center around the Pathside Building in Journal Square.
Critics, including Councilman-at-Large Rolando Lavarro – the only council member who voted against the MOU – have said that the city has not done the necessary research to justify such heavy spending.
However, following the state budget being passed, Fulop told HCV that the $24 million will go towards operations and is further evidence that the city has had a multi-faceted, structured plan for the Pompidou.
“These dollars are dedicated to operations of the facility and not construction. From the beginning we said we had a clear plan that would include state support, local support, ticket sales, and private dollars to execute on this vision of delivering a world class facility for Jersey City and having another anchor institution within our borders,” the mayor explained.
“We have worked with our partners to follow through on every part of the plan since the day we proposed purchasing the facility.”
The state budget process drew harsh scrutiny from members of the public and press, given that it was not made public until Tuesday evening and the Senate budget committee spent just 12-and-a-half minutes discussing it prior to advancing the spending plan.
The funding for the Pompidou Centre was one of several add-on agenda items that also included $31,900,000 for unspecified “cultural projects” and $5 million for the Newark Symphony Hall Infrastructure Project.
Murphy still has to sign off on the budget for it to be official, but he is expected to do so by next week.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with a comment from Gov. Phil Murphy spokeswoman Alyana Alfaro.