The time-frame for building the memorial is now back on schedule. With a back drop of the Washington Monument, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar announced today that after lengthy negotiations, a deal is in place that will allow the construction of the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County to get underway later this year . Secretary Salazar says that the United States, acting though the National Park Service has signed agreements with all the land owners for all the properties needed to build the Flight 93 Memorial. According to Salazar, this is a critical milestone because those agreements will allow the Park Service to break ground on the Memorial this Fall and stay on schedule to complete the memorial by the 10th anniversary of the September Eleventh attacks.
During his briefing, the Secretary said the agreements now in place will protect both the Federal Government and the rights of the land owners involved. Seven of those land owners have already come to terms and agreed on a purchase price for their land. The one remaining property owner, Svonavec Incorporated, holds the title to 275 acres of land needed for the memorial including the actual crash site. While that Company has not agreed to a purchase price, an agreement has been worked out where it will be left up to the Federal Courts to determine the fair market value of the land in question. And both sides have agreed to abide by the court's decision. As far as the Interior Department in concerned, the land acquisition part of the Memorial Project has now concluded. Salazar says the Federal Government has agreed to acquire the need land at a price in the neighborhood of nine and one half million dollars. Its figure he says reflects the appraised fair market value of the the properties.
The Secretary went on to say that the final closing on the properties is now expected to take place by mid October. That will allow for a formal ground-breaking of the Memorial in Somerset County to be held in November. Completion of the Twenty million dollar Memorial is now expected by the 10th Anniversary of the September Eleventh attacks in 2011.