Today Nassau County residents will have the chance to vote for or against a $400 million referendum to erect a new Nassau Coliseum and minor league ballpark in Uniondale.
But before you head to the polls, here are five things you should know about the referendum:
1. What Are You Voting For?
The referendum allows residents to decide whether or not a sports-entertainment complex will be built at the current site of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, as well as a minor league ballpark, which will more than likely end up inside of the Mitchel Field complex. If the vote were to fail, it is assumed that the New York Islanders would leave Nassau County when their lease expires on the current Coliseum in 2015.
2. Money Matters
Various reports have been published about how much the new arena would cost per household. In July, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano received a report from the independent Office of Legislative Budget Review (OLBR) that recognized the minimum taxpayer risk for $13.80 in taxes annually per household. "The New York Islanders have guaranteed that their lease will provide $14 million, at minimum, to Nassau County," the statement said. "Since this agreement has been made, the risk has decreased from $58 per household as originally reported, to the $13.80 annually that it is now."
3. What Happens Next
If approved, the Islanders will stay on Long Island through 2045, as per a reached in June. Also, Long Island Ducks owner Frank Boulton would help bring a minor-league team to a new ballpark at Mitchel Field, located directly across the street from the Coliseum.
If the referendum fails, it is expected that taxes will still increase to make up for the lack of revenue coming into the county beyond 2015. Should the vote fail, Mangano said that the ballpark would be looked at as a potential self-supporting, individual location.
4. What You'll See on the Ballot
"Shall a Local Law be approved to establish 'The Nassau County Hub Area Development Progam' (the 'Hub Program') and to : (i) authorize the expenditure of up to $400,000,000 to be bonded by the county and expended solely for the construction of projects in the Hub Area including a new Nassau Coliseum, a minor league baseball stadium, and other economic development projects, (ii) establish a line on property tax bills dedicated to the payment of the debt service associated with the Hub Program, and to (iii) establish a special revenue fund dedicated exclusively to the payment of the debt service on the bonds issued pursuant to the Hub Program?"
5. Voter Information
Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. According to the Nassau County Board of Elections website, "unless you received a post card indicating a polling place change, vote at your regular polling place." The New York State Board of Elections also has an online voter location database for active voters. Click here to see where you vote.