Mangano Signs Voter Referendum Bill For New Nassau Coliseum, Vote Set For Aug. 1

MINEOLA, NY (CBSNewYork) – The Nassau Legislature approved a voter referendum Tuesday to build a new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The voter referendum bill for the Coliseum bond issue passed by a vote of 11-7 and was quickly signed into law by County Executive Edward Mangano, reports CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.

“This bill is not just for the Islanders, it’s for Long Islanders,” Mangano said.

The bill authorizes an Aug. 1 vote, allowing residents to decide whether to borrow $400 million for a new hockey arena. Approval would clear the way for the NHL’s Islanders to remain on Long Island until at least 2045.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports: Nassau Legislature Approves Coliseum Bond Issue

Before the vote Tuesday, jobless Long Islanders rallied along Hempstead Turnpike, not far from the Coliseum they are desperate to have a part of rebuilding. Contractors expect the project could create 1,000 new jobs.

The 77-acre plot would also be home to a new minor league ball field and entertainment hub and keep Islanders owner Charles Wang from potentially moving Long Island’s only professional sports team.

“I believe this day will go down in history as a first step and hopefully this is the catalyst that will get us going again,” Wang said.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall: The Project Would Cost The Average County Homeowner An Additional $50 A Year

Finance committee member, Democrat Wayne Wink, said he is not against letting voters weigh-in but said “it’s the cost, it’s the matter and it’s the timing” that is questionable.

“The devil is in the details and the devil has not knocked on the door yet,” said Wink.

Some Nassau County residents are skeptical about the plan to borrow $400 million from taxpayers.

“From the taxpayers? No, I think we’ve been pushed to the limit,” said Kathy Gianpapa.

“To go out and borrow $400 million now I think is very unwise,” said Rase Denny.

Mangano said replacing the nearly 40-year-old arena will help reinvigorate the local economy.

Even if voters approve the Coliseum bond issue it still faces numerous hurdles and the vote is non-binding.

The special referendum in August could cost $2 million. The Islanders’ owner said he’ll pay for the election if voters approve the plan.

What do you think? Let us know in our comments section.

More from Mona Rivera
  • damyankee

    they are doing what lee county(fort myers , florida ) did over spent. they are building a new baseball field for the boston red socks here. why. they have a perfictly good ball field already which the city tax payers are paying on. now lee county over spent tax payer money on land for this new ball field, taffic is crazy because of it and all lee county said was oops we over spent. now they are footing the spending on the tax payers and any one who comes down here on vacation. mind you 1 im NOT a red socks fan im a yankee fan but will i be going to this ball field no. the red sock only use this field for 1 month and the rest of the year it sits not making a dime. so my advise to all you people there in ny fix up what you have and do not let the county take you hard earned money. money that will never be repaid.times are hard now the big spending needs to stop. WAKE UP PEOPLE!

  • Georgey0006

    Build the arena keep the isles here … Stop being ignorant people if you are not in favor of this then your just flat out stupid … It will only do good to lOng island …. And for this who think Wang is looking out for his own pocket why is he allowed and it’s ok for him to lose 20 mill a year but after over 10 years he can’t make something please !!!!!!! Isles are the only team on long island without isles and this project lOng island will be forgotten and depreciate that’s for damn sure

  • Dale Auburn

    Thing 1: The vote is on August 1, when people will be on vacation.

    Thing 2: The vote is NON-BINDING, so the County can ignore a “no” vote and borrow the money anyway.

    Thing 3: How much will the County bill NYC residents for the interest on this loan?

  • marx engels

    absolutely not – build affordable housing and expand Long Island Bus, let the government buy first-class materials, and rich contractors and CM Firms can oversee at their cost and expense, to make up for all the stealing they have done over the years, especially Nassau Community College “leaky” building, the Eisenhower Pool Debacle, etc.etc.

  • Nassau Taxpayer

    Two questions for Republican legislators:

    1./ How much skin does Charles Wang have in the game?

    2./ What Would Chris Christie Do?

  • matt

    They would be going to KC.

  • Alan

    I’m ranger fan and i think they should absolutley build the arena…just like Amanda said earlier….it will create jobs bring back interest in the team as well as bring quality free agents to long island….the surrounding businesses will get a boost as well,not to mention the casino that is gonna be proposed as well will bring in revenue and lastly maybe the old time rivalry between the rangers and islanders will renew like it was in the past.we all know nassau is flat out broke but this will be good in the long run.who wants to see the islanders move to oklahoma city or quebec.??

  • Al

    the coliseum is one of the worst in the nhl. without a new arena the isles will probably be looking for a new home north of the border.

  • amanda

    Pittsburgh was worried about the same things and look at them! It would do a great deed for the team and probably bring back some fans

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