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Four Developers Seek Coliseum Property

A weekly look-in at the news of Nassau County.

Four developers have applied to become the master developer of the Nassau Coliseum property, county spokesman Brian Nevin told Newsday [paid link] Tuesday.

Patchogue-based Baldassano Architecture submitted an application, managing partner Alex Badalamenti confirmed Tuesday. Garden City developer Breslin Realty also submitted its qualifications, a source said. They will compete with Plainview developer Donald Monti and Syosset developer Ed Blumenfeld.

Nassau County issued a Request-For-Qualifications (RFQ) in mid-July to select a master developer for the property.

The master developer will be charged with bridging the gap between the dollars necessary to construct a new arena and the rent a sports team should realistically pay to play in the arena, according to a July release from the county. The developer will bridge the gap by pursuing mixed-use opportunities to assist in offsetting the costs to construct a new arena.

The winning developer will be asked to negotiate with New York Islanders owner Charles Wang, who has said he will not stay at the current arena past his lease's expiration in 2015.

Investigation Reveals False Police Reports, PBA Reacts

According to the Nassau County Police, during the monthly review of precinct commanding officers in mid-July, the Fifth Precinct reported “a considerable reduction” in overall crime and a steep drop in grand larcenies.

The review prompted an investigation into the tactics used and discovered inaccurate reporting by Inspector Thomas DePaola, with cases reclassified as lesser offenses, and in some cases “lost property.”

“Obviously here I think there might have been some pressure or internal pressure to try to keep some numbers down so this way he didn’t have to explain why crime was rising,” Nassau PBA President James Carver said Wednesday at PBA headquarters in Mineola.

Click here to read more about the investigation and a reaction from Carver.

NICE Budget to Increase Next Week

Nassau County is set to increase the NICE Bus budget on Monday from $106 million to slightly more than $113 million.

The increase will come from roughly $3 million in increased federal aid and $4 million in increased state aid and will not cost taxpayers, according to Newsday [paid link].

Transit advocates who attended the Garden City meeting applauded the plan, and proposed using the increased funding to restore some of the cuts in service made in April. But county and bus officials quickly clarified that NICE had already been counting on the new funding early in 2012, and took it into consideration even when reducing some service in April to close a $7 million budget gap.

Youth Service-Supporting Clergy, Children to Deliver Petitions to County

On Wednesday, Aug. 1, a group of prominent Protestant, Catholic and Jewish leaders along with young people delivered petitions and art work to Nassau County Executive Mangano, Legislator Kevan Abrahams and Legislator Peter Schmitt. The petitions contained more than 3,500 names of local residents in favor of restoring funding and contract for youth services agencies and programs. 

The new organization Nassau Fight for Youth & Families was created by faith based groups and concerned citizens to continue the effort to have government leaders restore funding and support for youth programs.

The organization will be holding a press conference and prayer vigil Monday Aug. 6, at 11 a.m. on the steps of the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building in Mineola, 1550 Franklin Ave. All families, youth and citizens concerned about these cuts are welcome to attend and hear from religious leaders, children, and working parents affected by the loss of programs.

Following the press event, faith leaders, children and families will address the Nassau Legislature.

Nassau's Water Supply Gets Assistance From State Grant

Nassau County appropriated $155,330 in funds from the New York State Department of Health for monitoring by the County’s Health Department. The Drinking Water Enhancement Program is designed to enhance the county's water supply regulatory program and ensure the safety of drinking water.

Funding for the program, which is ongoing, ensures that 46 water suppliers in Nassau County adhere and comply with the New York State Sanitary Code and the Nassau County Public Health Ordinance by investigating public health hazards; implementing an emergency response to drinking water contamination incidents; utilizing the Safe Drinking Water Information System; implementing New Safe Drinking Water Act Programs and Regulations; and by improving the safety of drinking water at non-public water systems.

County Living Wage Increases to $14.91

The Nassau County Living Wage rate increased from $14.61 to $14.91 per hour, Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos announced Wednesday. The $14.91 hourly wage does not include employees receiving health care benefits. Employers who provide such benefits are only required to pay $13.11 per hour.

The Living Wage Law applies to all county employees and businesses contracting with the county (contracts more than $25,000). Enacted in January 2006, the Law ensures that employees earn a decent hourly wage including health benefits. The Living Wage Law went in 2007 with hourly wage increased each Aug. 1.

County Recovers Money from Drug Companies that Defrauded Taxpayers

More than $1 million in settlement money has been recovered by Nassau County due to County Executive Ed Mangano's efforts to recoup funds from excessive claims by pharmaceutical companies to the Medicaid program.

The latest $258,561 settlement with defendant Sandoz, Inc. adds to the million dollars plus the county has recouped so far from the multi-district, class action litigation that began in 2007, according to a release. With 30-40 pharmaceutical companies being sued for overbilling Medicaid charges and negotiations continuing, Nassau County should be the recipient of additional settlement funds.

The suit alleges that the pharmaceutical drug manufacturers provided false and inflated pricing to Medicaid for prescription drug purchases to secure higher reimbursements. Specifically, the complaint alleges that the pharmaceutical manufacturers submitted false and inflated pricing information to publishers who report the Average Wholesale Price (AWP) and Federal Upper Limit (FUL) pricing metrics that form the basis of the Medicaid program’s prescription drug expenditures. Damages related to Medicaid reimbursements made on the basis of the inflated AWPs and FULs are being sought.

Auxiliary Police Officers Needed

The Nassau County Auxiliary Police is making residents aware that volunteers are needed to serve as members of the auxiliary police. The auxiliary police are volunteers dedicated to making their community a safe place to live.

Members patrol in marked cars equipped with a two-way radio and emergency equipment. Auxiliary police officers patrol seven days per week in addition to assisting the Nassau County Police Department with crowd control and traffic at community events. Another function of the auxiliary police is to assist the NCPD during any county-wide emergency.

Officers must be between 18-55, no misdemeanor or felony convictions, a Nassau County resident, a U.S. citizen and have a high school diploma or G.E.D. All applicants must also have a valid New York State drivers license.

A 34-session training course held at the Nassau County Police Academy must be completed. For additional information on becoming an Auxiliary Police Officer please visit their website, email recruit@pdcnaux.org or call 516-573-8830.

Nassau Taxpayer August 05, 2012 at 10:00 PM
True on the former, not even close on the latter.
George Mulligan August 05, 2012 at 10:58 PM
I would like to see the Islanders stay on LI, and I would like to see some upgrades made to the current Colisuem. Hopefully this project can move forward.
kevin August 06, 2012 at 10:13 AM
that's whacked !!
Joemodeler August 06, 2012 at 03:53 PM
On a different subject: NICE It will cost the taxpayers nothing. Everything is for free. Obamacare is goingto be free. All Government services are for free. "NICE Budget to Increase Next Week Nassau County is set to increase the NICE Bus budget on Monday from $106 million to slightly more than $113 million. The increase will come from roughly $3 million in increased federal aid and $4 million in increased state aid and will not cost taxpayers, according to Newsday [paid link]."
Nassau Taxpayer August 06, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Actually, more like... Nice... NICE sucks on all three -- federal, state and local teets.

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