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Roslyn County Club Passes Town Board

North Hempstead agrees to purchase and develop the property.

The  board voted Tuesday 5-2 in favor of controversial plan to purchase and refurbish 7.385 acres of the Roslyn Country Club, which will become .

The town will spend $2 million, through its environmental legacy fund, which preserves open space, to purchase the property from Manny Malekan, and to issue $7.5 million in bonds to renovate the facility. The property includes a pool and tennis courts.

The vote came after a nearly two-and-a-half hour discussion, with dozens of people waiting their turn to speak at the podium in the standing-room only boardroom, with spillover into the hallway.

One side of the room was occupied mostly by people sporting a "ToNH Vote Yes" sticker on their clothing.

And while supporters saw the facility as a benefit to North Hempstead, pointing to the and Tully facilities, as well as the chance to preserve open space, opponents worried about the economic strain the purchase would impose on taxpayers.

Take New Hyde Park resident Jim McHugh, who said he does not anticipate that the town will get the membership required to break even or be profitable.

"There's no way in God's little green acre that this will pay for itself," McHugh said.

The Williston Park Civic Group presented a petition to the town with 300 signatures of people against the purchase.

Addressing concerns about increased taxes, said that if the town's estimations are wrong, the taxpayer may pay an additional $1 or $2 as a result of Levitt Park. He added that if the property makes more money than it needs for maintenance, that money would used to better the town.

As part of the agreement, Malekan will maintain his ownership of the catering facility. Kaiman said that the details of the agreement were being finalized with the understanding that the local school district's taxes would not be impacted.

Board Members Angelo Ferrara, R-New Hyde Park, and Dina DeGiorgio, R-Port Washington, were the only two voting against the plan.

Ferrara said he feels everyone on the board aims to do what is right for the town. He said he voted against the plan because he does not want to leave debt for future generations.

He would have supported the measure, he added, had it been designed so that the town gives  area residents the $2 million from the environmental legacy fund, with the provision that those residents then maintain the property.

Still, before voting, Ferrara said that his decision is not based on politics. He said he worries about the "Pandora's box" opened by the measure because now other pools in disprepair can potentially take the same route.

Councilwoman Anna Kaplan, D-Great Neck, said before she voted that she is looking at the overall picture for the town and voted yes.

After being implored by one resident to table this vote and to represent the people from her district, Councilwoman Lee Seeman, D-Great Neck Estates, said, "I want my grandchildren to remember how I voted. I voted to preserve 7.5 acres of open land."

Rick Ueland June 22, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Bottom line -don't ask me to support a pool that all but a few residents of the TONH will ever use. Hope the the lawsuits aren't dropped. No matter what is said the TONH shouldn't be taking on debt service in this environment especially when it benefits only selective residents. Period - end of discussion.
George D. June 22, 2012 at 04:29 AM
has anyone noticed or does anyone care that Kaiman and his dumb cronies spend most of their time giving away our tax monies to the few connected people?
R Miller June 22, 2012 at 09:56 AM
Whatever happened to the statement made by Lincoln at the Gettysburg address where he says "that government of the people, by the people, for the people"? I wish some people on the board would read this. I feel that any input from the town residents is just ignored.
Stephen June 22, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Rick - Manorhaven is used by just over 4,000 families. Less than 6% of the Town. Don't know for parks like Bunky Ried, but I'm sure the #s aren't too different. I think it's a little bit of hyperbole to suggest that a huge % of the people have to use the project to make it a fair use of $$$$. 1. Park should serve an unmet need--it'll be different in location, character, amenities and price from the rest, I doubt there's a lot of debate there. 2. Should have a reasonable likelihood to run as advertised (no meaningful affect on taxes). Because of cheap buy-in (a la Harbor Links and Bar Beach and East Hill), seems possible (though without being an expert it's hard to say it's likely or not--but I see no reason to think Town's numbers are unreliable). 3. Even if likely to succeed, fees should not be truly exclusionary. Current sub-$1K price, while not cheap--and clearly not every resident would choose to spend-- doesn't seem shockingly high. Arguments to the contrary seem a little PC to me. Any of these points can be debated--and should be--but unless Im missing a lot, I just don't see the basis of an uprising here. Can't help thinking that someone’s whipping people t up here, b/c I just don't see the basis. Finally, I know some of the people working on this. Don't believe they have any special "connections." I'm happy to reexamine any of these points. But the tone should change...As long as we do it respectfully (i promise to respect your POV too).
Rick Ueland June 23, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Stephen, No one is whipping me up - just the $ and the facts. Mineola is in the TONH and the VIllage has its own pool which we pay for in our taxes. Thus almost no residents of Mineola will ever consider using the Roslyn pool. Same is true for some of the other Villages in the TONH. Why should we want to support an additional pool? I can understand as a resident of the TONH having to support a pool that is priced affordable to the masses. I'm totally opposed to a pool that will have a small membership with an unaffordable costs to most residents.If you want it set it up as a special district I have no problem with it. My taxes are on the hook if the TONH predictions don't materialize and also for unanticipated infrastructure costs. As a former auditor with the GAO, now the Goverment Accountability Office, I've seen too many examples of over zealous estimations on the part of local government officials. Need I say more?

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