Urgency to build a new Coliseum was conveyed at Tuesday's Nassau Legislature Economic and Community Development and Labor meeting.
"We have to make a decision on the Coliseum," New York Islanders Senior Vice President and Alternate Governor Michael Picker pleaded in front of the legislature.
Picker was joined by local politicians and labor officials who urged redevelopment at Nassau's HUB before time runs out.
Several ideas were traded, from state and federal funding to public funding from Nassau residents — on a smaller scale from last summer's proposal.
The idea of public funding might seem insane to Nassau residents, who handily defeated a public referendum on Aug. 1, 2011 to fund a new Coliseum, but according to Picker and Richard Bivone, chairman of the LI Business Council, public funding is necessary.
"The numbers don't work without public [funding]," Bivone said.
Outspoken Nassau residents have also suggested Islanders owner Charles Wang pay for a new Coliseum, but President of the Long Island Regional Planning Council John Cameron, who Legis. Denise Ford, R-Long Beach, heralded as a "voice of reason" during today's session, said residents need to be more mindful that Wang owns the Islanders, not the Coliseum.
"We can’t forget that this is still a county-owned facility," Cameron said. "… For this to be successful, we need a hybrid [development]."
Cameron's concept of a "hybrid" development involves getting as much money as possible from both public and private entities.
Despite all of the ideas being suggested, at the end of the legislative session, urgency still reigned supreme. Deputy County Executive Rob Walker and Legis. Dave Denenberg, D-Merrick, both agreed that in order to have a realistic shot at building a new arena and revitalizing the HUB, a decision should be made by the end of 2012.
Picker continued to stress that while the Islanders will not pinpoint an exact deadline, Walker and Denenberg's point was fairly accurate.
"Time is of the essence," Picker said. "… We have to make a decision soon."