Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano paid a visit to the at their most recent meeting, to extol the benefits of the projected .
Speaking to a full room at the International House of Pancakes in Williston Park, Mangano devoted most of his 15-minute talk to the coliseum project, which he said is more about creating and sustaining jobs and generating revenue streams than about finding a permanent home for the New York Islanders.
Nassau on whether to borrow up to $400 million to build a new hockey arena at the site and a minor league baseball field at nearby Mitchel Field. If the public approves the bonding, the county legislature would need to give its approval and the state oversight board in charge of the county’s finances would also have to sign off.
Mangano said that if the Islanders’ lease expires in 2015 without a new Coliseum, the franchise likely will leave the area – for good.
“Over the years we have watched our teams leave. The Nets left and we lost the Jets’ practice facility,” he said. “But instead of sitting back and saying no to everything and seeing business go by the wayside in the highest taxed county in the nation, we want to generate jobs and opportunity.”
Mangano labeled the plan “a call to arms,” saying that the project is not “just about the Islanders” because of the long-term impact the vote could leave on the region in terms of revenue and job creation.
The county executive envisions a year-round sports and entertainment complex as part of a larger attraction area of a new coliseum, ballpark, , and Museum Row at Mitchel Field.
“The whole is much greater than the sum of its parts,” Mangano said, emphasizing it was better than the alternative of a darkened coliseum. “It’s about activity in the surrounding area.”
Kiwanis Club President Edgar Schutz also reported that applications for its Kamp Kiwanis have been distributed and are due back at the end of the month. Kiwanis sponsors youngsters for this weeklong camp, which runs from Aug. 8 to 13. So far, the club has raised funds to sponsor six youngsters at $600 apiece.
At the awards breakfast, the Kiwanis awarded seniors Katherine Dul and Gabrielle Cantileno with the “County Seat Humanitarianism Academy Improvement Award.” The awards are worth $500 apiece.