Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rant #502: Good For the Island

Today, a proposal will be launched to revitalize the hub of Nassau County, Long Island, the major strip of land that is the site of the Nassau Coliseum.

After long delay, a proposal, which will eventually be voted on by the public, is on the table. This proposal will include a new arena, a minor league baseball stadium and other improvements.

It will cost millions, and the public will be able to vote on its worthiness in a special election during the summer.

Even though it will most probably raise taxes, I have to be all for it.

Without it, the Coliseum will never be redeveloped, the New York Islanders NHL hockey team will move, and this major strip of land will be wasted on things like a casino and low-income housing--or perhaps even worse, completely lay barren, not generating much revenue.

The proposal will create jobs, especially in the construction industry, and probably longer term jobs in the Coliseum and the new ballpark.

Sure, it's probably not the perfect solution for this expanse of land, but it is far better than the alternative.

Way back when, I said that the then-burgeoning Lighthouse proposal--which would have been privately financed--should be passed. In that long-ago Rant, I figured that that proposal--which would have also brought a huge amount of retail to the area--would be better than the alternative.

But those behind that proposal were ill-prepared to answer questions surrounding this idea, and the proposal ended up falling flat.

I am sure those behind the newest proposal are better prepared, and will have all the answers that need to be addressed.

I say go for it. Again, it is not perfect, but looking at the alternative, would you rather have a revamped site or a site that falls into further disrepair, generating nothing but negativity?

When the vote comes, I hope those in Nassau County vote YES for the proposal.

I really do.

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