Earlier this year, Nassau County officials and New York Islanders owner Charles Wang joined forces to propose a plan for Nassau Coliseum - one of Long Island's only major entertainment venues.
The $400 million proposal entails a complete rebuilding of the aged arena, along with the addition of a minor league ballpark. According to county representatives, the project is necessary for the economic future of Nassau.
Voters poured into Monday to vote with varying opinions on the new arena and the county's request for taxpayer dollars.
Joe and Karen Renna of Westbury felt the project is not a priority for the community and that Wang could finance it himself.
"It's just adding more debt," Joe Renna said. "It's typical of what the government here has done for 40 years. There are plenty of stores that are empty and they're not rebuilding anything there. They're doing something big for someone who has billions."
"This is not significant to our lives," Karen Renna added in regards to the tax increase. "It's not significant to the well being of our children."
Natalie DeNatale agreed that the expected tax increase is unfair to residents.
"I think it's ridiculous," she said. "We have a lot of low income people here. I can't afford my medical bills right now. Mr. Wang has all the money himself."
On the opposing side, many voters were in favor of the project, stating that Nassau County needs a sports and entertainment venue. Voters also agreed the job openings will be the boost that the local economy desperately needs.
Michael Campanelli of East Meadow felt strongly about his positive vote.
"I think it's needed," Campanelli said. "Nassau County is a major county in the state, and not only in the state but the country, and we should have a stadium that reflects that. I think the small [tax] increase is going to be offset by the number of jobs that come in."
Donald Levine felt similarly. The Westbury resident told Patch that Nassau Coliseum has deteriorated over the years and is need of major renovations.
"That arena is a disaster, and we need a hub," Levine explained. "We should've done the original Wang lighthouse plan, but since we didn't do that, this is the next best thing. For the amount of money it's going to bring it, it's ridiculous not to do it."