County Holds Forum to Discuss Hub Proposal

Residents were given the chance to ask questions on the proposed bond.

With the days winding down to the Aug. 1 vote on the Nassau Coliseum and minor league ballpark referendum, Nassau County representatives held an open forum Q&A at Tuesday.

Speakers included Director of Research Eden Laikin, Christopher Melvin of Nixon Peabody, Chief Deputy County Executive Rob Walker and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano.

Many local residents were on hand at the high school auditorium with their own views and questions about the proposal.

Frank Borrelli, owner of restaurant that sits near the coliseum was worried about how much the county would lose if the new arena was not built.

“What do we do then? The hotels, deli’s and convenience stores will all be affected.” Borrelli said. “Also, as an East Meadow homeowner, a new arena would only increase the value of my property.”

On the other side of the issue was Mike Turner of East Meadow who questioned the scheduled date of the vote.

“Why August 1?” Turner asked. “Why are they not sending out reminders of when and where to vote? They send out reminders for normal elections. If they want a fair vote, they need to remind people.”

The forum started with a presentation that went over the details of the new proposed complex. Many residents reacted with outbursts and felt their questions where not answered clearly.

During the meeting some of the main points addressed were the following:

  • The $58 property tax increase to fund the county portion of the construction is based on a $450,000 home property. The tax will reflect the value of the home and last the full 30 years of the bond.
  • The county will get 11.5 percent of all gross revenue that is made on the complex. At a minimum, the county will get $14 million a year from the Islanders if the 11.5 percent is under $14 million.
  • If the coliseum construction comes to more than the proposed $350 million, then the Islanders will pay the remaining cost.
  • The county is open to other development opportunities if the developers are ready to finance their plans and are ready to build now.
  • With a minor league ball and Islanders hockey games, the area will have year-long sporting events available as well as concerts and other entertainment events.
  • This is an investment and with any investment there are risks and the county has worked to make the risks as minimal as possible.
  • The August 1 date was a date that was picked as a general consensus as the vote is strong enough to stand on its own and allows more people able to go and vote including college students.
  • Property taxes will increase if there is no new arena due to a loss of sales tax revenue from the arena.

For more facts on the referendum you can visit the county web site.

Robert Demarco July 14, 2011 at 11:51 AM
This whole scam is a joke. Of course Borrelli's is in favor, given their location. They talk about a $58 tax increase like it is insignificant. Add that to the "only" $400 or so tax increase from the school district, and the taxes just keep on rising. Please hold this vote in November. Give me a break about the college students.
Dino Rekatas July 14, 2011 at 02:19 PM
While I freely admit the privately funded Lighthouse Project would have been a better option, (which corrupt Kate Murray and her cronies at the Town Of Hempstead wrongly killed while stating they were "preserving surburbia"; yeah, Hempstead looks GREAT) if we DON'T pony up the moolah for this new arena, we will lose the Islanders and the Coliseum will be shuttered. If THAT happens, our property taxes WILL go up and will be MORE than what we will pay for the new building, guaranteed. BTW, that 58 dollars figure is if the new Coliseum generates NO REVENUE AT ALL. It will more than likely be a lower payment. Besides, while not "insignificant", we all spend more on going to the movies (family of four,ONE time) or buying two Blu- Ray movies. What we should ALL be doing instead of rallying against projects like this that could potentially kickstart our economy here on Long Island, while beginning to erase the image of us as the place of NO to everything (FOOLISH, OLD, Nimbys), would be to speak out against SCHOOL TAXES THAT ACCOUNT FOR NEARLY 70% of our tax bill. THAT'S the TRUE problem with Long Island. That's why our children are all LEAVING..
m brier July 14, 2011 at 08:34 PM
questions were asked that is true but answers were not given vote no
Tony S July 15, 2011 at 07:04 AM
This off calender election will cost residents $2.2 million. If it gets passed and approved Wang has said he will re-pay the County $2.2 million for the special election but that wreaks of impropriety and it's extremely inappropriate for someone to be paying for an election in which they personally stand to benefit and it maybe illegal. If you vote yes you're taxes will go up $58 a year for 30 years. What kind of fool would vote for that? Mangano's insane. VOTE NO on Monday AUGUST 1
Tony S July 15, 2011 at 07:28 AM
You're incorrect saying taxes would go up more if this is voted down. The NYS legislature passed a 2% property tax cap. NIFA Chairman Ronald Stack said that approval of the referendum would likely result in a 3.5 to 4 percent average property tax increase. You're also wrong concerning the $58 dollars annually on your County tax bill, it will remain on your bill for 30 years. It will not be reduced nor will it disappear as has erroneously been reported. It must remain for the full 30 years because it is law. Mangano and Christopher Melvin both confirmed this on Tuesday. People are leaving Long Island because of its suffocating tax burden, it's sky high cost of living, it's traffic and it's deteriorated quality of life. They're not leaving because the Nassau Coliseum is old, they're leaving because they can barely afford to survive here and Mangano is asking them to pay even more. He's insane and you'd be insane too if you vote yes for a tax increase. Vote No on Monday August 1
m brier July 15, 2011 at 10:17 AM
m brier July 15, 2011 at 10:19 AM
Robert Demarco July 15, 2011 at 12:20 PM
The Nassau Republicans must be salivating over the patronage and legal work they can dole out to their cronies for this project. You know the way things go on Long Island that there will be severe cost overruns, and many of the party faithful will wet their beaks at the public trough. Mondello and Mangano will see to it that their friends are rewarded. VOTE NO ON AUGUST 1ST!!
Rob July 15, 2011 at 03:07 PM
So to all you naysayers, what happens when the team moves and they demolish the building, losing all that revenue?
Robert Demarco July 15, 2011 at 03:44 PM
Something will be built there, WITH PRIVATE FUNDS, that will generate tax revenue. We do not need to provide corporate welfare for the Islanders.
Rob July 16, 2011 at 02:55 AM
Wang tried that, politics killed that as well. The buck is just going to be passed back and forth until it is too late. Our taxes are going up regardless, we should at least try and do something about it. I vote Yes to this project.
Tony S July 18, 2011 at 07:39 AM
'"The buck is just going to be passed back and forth" only it's not going to be my buck. Wang tried to build a city on land he was going to buy from Nassau for a DOLLAR ..our land for a DOLLAR! That was another bunch of baloney. This guy just has only his own selfish interests at heart. Anybody who votes themselves a tax increase is a fool. VOTE NO on MONDAY AUGUST 1
m brier July 18, 2011 at 10:18 AM
Tony, You are right on. VOTE NO Do not get Conned by Ed. VOTE NO ON AUGUST 1


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