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Civic Associations Petition for Public Vote on Roslyn Country Club

North Hempstead residents to vote on $7.5 million in borrowing in November.

Residents from several civic associations are petitioning for a public vote on a proposed takeover of the Roslyn Country Club by the .

Representatives from the civic associations of Lakeville Estates, New Hyde Park, Carle Place and Albertson collected over 4,000 signatures over the course of 17 days and submitted them to the town clerk last week asking for a public vote on the proposed borrowing of $7.5 million to acquire and renovate the Roslyn Country Club property.

Before the resolution was , “we had constantly asked Jon Kaiman and the town board to put Roslyn Country Club to a vote to the people,” Albertson Civic Association President Eddie Scott said Monday during a visit to the club. “They refused.”

After months of negotiation with the owner, North Hempstead is looking to  through its environmental legacy fund and renovate the pool and surrounding facilities, whose pool is in dire need of repair as the cement liner is cracked and flaking and numerous plants and 6-ft. tall weeds have invaded and taken root.

The town board voted 5-2 in favor with Dina DeGiorgio and Angelo Ferrara, R-New Hyde Park, voting against.

The town’s reported plan is to sell 1,000 memberships to the club at approximately $1,0000 a piece in order to pay for the project. However, if there is a shortfall in membership or cost overruns in the project, taxpayers could be liable for the difference. Also, while every taxpayer in the town would have an equal share in the $7.5 million bond, only those who pay the separate membership fees to the club, pool and tennis courts would be able to utilize the respective facilities.

“I have nothing against the Roslyn Country Club and people have a right to have their tennis court and pool but I certainly can’t afford an additional $1,000 in this economy,” Anthony Bulzonmi of the Westbury-Carle Place Civic Association said. “The majority of the residents and my neighbors certainly wouldn’t be coming out here to use this.”

Bulzonmi, a construction manager, was also skeptical about the $7.5 million being the final cost of the project.

“Construction being as it is, there’s always cost overruns,” he said. “What that could be, there’s environmental questions that come into play especially when you talk about chlorine and containers that may be underground so the cost overruns could be quite large.”

“It hasn’t been successful, from what I understand, at $700 a year in membership. What makes you think it’s going to be successful for $1,000 to $1,125? It’s not going to work; the membership that’s required to sustain itself is not going to work,” Scott said, noting that signatures are still coming into his house despite a passed deadline. “Why should somebody in New Hyde Park pay $1,000 to $1,125 to come and use this pool? We want the right to vote.”

Other communities such as Williston Park, , New Hyde Park and East Hills already have their own pool. A family pass to the Williston Park pool, which Scott utilizes, reportedly costs $375.

Scott says he wants the people in the area have their own pool via a special taxing district rather than any potential shortfall be borne by all residents across North Hempstead. There are a total of 668 homes in Roslyn Country Club area which Scott says could be part of the new district.

“East Hills pays for their own pool, New Hyde Park pays for their own pool. I would like to see the people of Roslyn Country Club pay for their own pool. Why should the burden be put on everyone across North Hempstead for a select few that want it?”

While a special election would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for the town, Scott says that can be avoided by placing the measure on the November ballot. Petitions are required to have 3,343 valid names, or 5 percent of the number of residents in the town who voted in the last gubernatorial election.

“So you want to take away their rights to their property, what they’re entitled to, then you want to take their  right away to vote?” Scott said. “I have a very big problem with this and I think a lot of us have .”

In a statement released Tuesday,  said that he anticipated that the town would certify the petitions “shortly and that we will then move to put the matter to a referendum. The goal will be to set the date for the same day as the general election in November to avoid additional costs.”

Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect that the town seeks to purchase a piece of the property through the town's environmental legacy fund, not through eminent domain. 

Milton Weiman July 26, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Chris O Eddy scott is a Spanish American his wife is Jewish. Both came to my house to have me sign the petition(RCC Resident) Just to clear up your cement shoe bigotry. Talking about "CEMENT" Guess where it is not going!
Chris O July 26, 2012 at 06:47 PM
All I ask is to tell the truth. Stop spreading lies. This park benefits us all and the tax burden, if any may be a $1. I don't believe the people who signed this petition have the facts. I know they don't. I know someone that did and was told LIES! There is demand for a park such as this maybe not by you but for sure from the new families that move into the TONH. Seriously you people need to get a life. The cement I was referring to because the other gentleman was a construction manager! Not sure what you were thinking!
Craig Baines July 27, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Hey made up person "Milton" who said anything about his wife?? She isn't in the picture.
Stephen July 27, 2012 at 08:37 PM
In the end residents and press will read these posts. They'll have more time to reflect than a minute being accosted on a LIRR platform or at their door by a stranger. More information, too. They’ll look for substance--and in the critics’ corner find very little. Claims like "Cost to be immense" or "10 employees" aren’t substance. They’ll can find detail on the Town website. Or dial 311 and ask. Or…they can call Ed Scott (knowing he's seeking a Board seat) to ask why the Roslyn park is incapable of generating the same membership as other Town facilities (but he doesn't know; he's only guessing). They can email Marianna Wohlgemuth (knowing she’s seeking another quasi-governmental board seat). Ask her to justify her $2200 expense estimate (but she doesn't know; as she says, she just repeated a number “someone” incorrectly gave her about a 50+ acre facility in East Hill). Or write Lee Kalinsky (cutting a deal for Petrus) how he knows the costs; or ask Lloyd why debt service would be nearly $1million a year (he writes that “another speaker” said so). And so it goes. No substance.Ultimately, seems that there’s a LOT more substance to the critics’ personal interest and ambition than there is to their criticisms. If support for destroying this park plan is so strong, get a recognized expert on park construction, management or operations, collect funds to consult for a few hours and bring her to the next meeting. We are all ears.
Eyes r open July 28, 2012 at 02:49 AM
Everybody in New Hyde Park Park District remember these zealous advocates for another district when the time comes to rehab your pool. Because when that gigantic bill comes, you'll all be screaming that the district should be dissolved and that the rest of the town should share the debt. That day's coming, and it's coming soon. Remember this warning, and remember these hypocrites when the rest of the town turns it's back on you.

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