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Nassau Coliseum Debate At Fever Pitch Ahead Of Next Week’s Vote

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The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is seen in Uniondale, NY - Nov 8, 2002 - Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is seen in Uniondale, NY – Nov 8, 2002 (credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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UNIONDALE, NY (WCBS 880) - On August 1, the people of Nassau County will vote on whether to borrow $400 million to build a new sports and entertainment complex that would include a modernized home for the New York Islanders.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall On Long Islandhttp://cbsnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/hall_coliseum1w_morn_110727.mp3WCBS880reporterSophiaHallhasthestory.

Jobs is a big word, especially with so many people out of work.

County spokesperson Eden Laikin says if the Coliseum renovation project is approved, not only will there be 30 months of construction work, but she says, “The Islanders themselves have said that they issued paychecks last year to 2,100 people. There’s a hotel. There are nightclubs and restaurants that depend on the Coliseum for their business.”

Because the county is paying for the project, many residents fear there will be a large jump in their property taxes.

Laikin says it will only be about $14 more per year, and if the coliseum closes, it will cost the taxpayers more.

“We would lose about $243 million a year to our economy,” she said.

Islanders owner Charles Wang has said that without a new home for his team, he might leave Long Island.

Of course, even if the people of Nassau County approve the project, the Nassau Interim Finance Authority will still need to give it their okay.

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