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County Issues RFQ for Hub, Coliseum Plans

A weekly look-in at the news of Nassau County.

After attracting a 100 percent privately-financed Expo Center to Mitchel Field, Nassau County launched on Sunday a sustainable economic development and job creation plan for Nassau's Hub.

According to the county, the redevelopment has been at a logjam between what the present tenant is willing to pay and the actual costs to construct a new sports-entertainment arena to host professional sports, as well as concerts, the circus and other family-fun entertainment.

In an effort to break the logjam and spark development, Nassau County issued a Request-For-Qualifications (RFQ) to select a master developer for the property. The master developer will be charged with bridging the gap between the dollars necessary to construct a new arena and the rent a sports team should realistically pay to play in the arena. The developer will bridge the gap by pursuing mixed-use opportunities to assist in offsetting the costs to construct a new arena.

The RFQ's primary focus is to keep the New York Islanders in Nassau, but to also produce alternative plans for review. The master developer is also tasked with keeping the public informed as the plan progresses.

Independent economists, Camoin Associates, estimate the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum generates $200 million of economic activity annually. Experts believe the Coliseum, the oldest un-renovated facility in the NHL, may shutter its doors should the New York Islanders vacate the venue in 2015 when their lease expires. 

The Islanders have finished last in the NHL's Atlantic Division for the last five seasons.

County Implements Plan to Achieve Up to $25 Million in Savings for Taxpayers

Nassau County on Monday entered into a partnership with Universal Management Technology Solutions, Inc. (UMS) to identify and obtain additional agency savings through strategic sourcing services.

Grant Thornton LLP, a financial advisory firm retained by the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority (NIFA), suggested that the County could save $15 million to $25 million annually by contracting for strategic sourcing services.

Under the contract approved by the Legislature, UMS will review agency spending and contracted services, as well as inventory and usage of purchased products, to determine Nassau County's use-based needs as compared to historical purchasing. This "needs-based" approach to government spending will assist in County Executive Ed Mangano's efforts to reduce spending.

Boating Safety Seminar at Garvies Point

The county is offering a free boating safety course being held on July 21 at Garvies Point Museum. The four-hour seminar, starting at 9 a.m., is being offered by 12-03 Flotilla Commander John Pitrowski and the 42 members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary unit in response to an increase in the number of boating accidents and recent fatalities.

The Flotilla offers a boating safety course twice annually at Garvies Point Museum. The course is prepared by the seasoned sailors and power boaters associated with the unit who will discuss such things as safety issues, situational awareness, boating responsibility and understanding your vessel. Stickers will be distributed to those attending these seminars to help educate the public that Channel 16 is the Emergency Distress Channel for boaters in trouble.

County to Host Free Family-Fun Children's Day at Eisenhower Park

Nassau County will host "Children's Day" on Sunday, July 22 from 4-7 p.m. at Eisenhower Park, sponsored by Bethpage Federal Credit Union. Admission is free.

From 4-6 p.m. children of all ages will be able to enjoy a variety of activities including carnival rides (ages 2-8), bouncy houses (ages 3-15), face painting and arts and crafts. Beginning at 6 p.m. Plaza Theatrical Productions will be performing Cinderella at the Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre.

County to Host Veteran Stand Down

Nassau County, in coordination with the United Veterans Organization (UVO), announces that a Veterans Stand Down will be held on July 16 at American Legion Post 390 in Hempstead from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Stand Down is hosted by the Nassau County Veterans Service Agency with assistance from volunteers representing all service organizations.

Veterans will receive assistance with securing entitled benefits, job counseling and legal advice at the Stand Down. Clothes and food donated from the community will be available to the veterans, as well as haircuts, medical screening and enrollment in the VA health care system. Representatives from Nassau County government agencies will be participating, including the Departments of Social Services, Health, and Human Services.

Any veteran who wishes to participate in the Veterans Stand Down should bring with them a photo I.D. and a copy of their DD214, VA card, or any record they may have of their service.

For more information, please contact the Nassau County Veterans Service Agency at (516) 572-6560.

Mac July 17, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Sadeto can you tell me where I said the coliseum is the main reason free agents do not sign here? I said it is a part of the reason but not all of it. Thank you for the recent poll and I refer you to several other sites bleacherreport, nhlsniper,aeryssport,totalprosports and prohockeytalk all but one has the Coliseum rated as the worst arena in the NHL. Then SI and ESPN both had player surveys that said the ice at the coliseum was the worst in hockey SI had it I believe 8 years running. I refute your claim that the buildng has nothing to do with it, it does. Paul Martin was offered a contract by the Islanders for more money than he eventually recieved, when asked why he turned it down ONE of his reason was the facilities including playing so many home games on that ice. Now can you tell us what players said I quote you "I have seen players indicate both the poor prospects of the team (management?) and the high cost of living plus the relative quality of life being factors." Please just name a few. The building as I indicated is one of the reasons FAs do not sign here. Thansk for the current poll which polled more players than both ESPN and SI but you failed to mention that MSG was ranked number 2 in arenas players wanted to play. Did you see the coliseum listed? Bottom line is we are going to lose the team, building and jobs while seeing taxes go up.
Frank July 18, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Just go down the roster like I did. FYI, using the Marriot as a residence doesn't count.
Don Smythe July 18, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Here's the problem: The minute the Islanders leave, you might as well shut down the Coliseum and take away the $200M in activity it generates. The concerts/family shows, etc will go to the renovated MSG or the new building in Brooklyn (both accessible from the Island by LIRR). By 2016, it's the newest parking lot for Hofstra or Nassau CC.
Mac July 18, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Ok frank once I asks please name the guys on the current roster who do not live here during the season. I looked at the islander roster from their homepage and cbssportsline and NHL.com to,see where they live. Ech site only lists birthplace so if you have another source post it. The mariot does count and why wouldn't it? Many proathletes live in hotels during the season that are arranged through the team and the mariot is one such hotel. In addition I just spoke to a customer rep from the islander and was told that the majority of the team lives here on long island during the season with a few all year long.
Steve July 28, 2012 at 02:42 PM
This whole mess with the Islanders basically mirrors our troubles in our country. Our so called elected officials are everything but leaders. Its just not possible for 2 parties to disagree on everything if their goal is truly to do what's right for the people. The decisions is always leaned towards what is best for my party and my big money contributors. Its a complete joke

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