Floral Park “not done” on Belmont arena

The Floral Park village board said that legal options are still available for the village to protest the Belmont Park arena. (Photo by Tom McCarthy)

Floral Park Mayor Dominick Longobardi thanked the village trustees and the community for all the work they put in to raise concerns over the now state-approved New York Islanders arena in Belmont Park but said “we are not finished.”

“We are not done. We have a lot more work to do, “ Longobardi said. “We will continue to do this work.”

At the Aug. 13 board meeting, Longobardi and the board were not specific, however, about what the village plans on doing next.

He said at the meeting that while the board has $50,000 in the budget available for legal action, suing would cost far more than what the village has. The options, he said, are still being considered.

“Given the amount of damage that this can do to us, we are weighing those options,” Longobardi said about pursuing legal action.

Deputy Mayor Kevin Fitzgerald said that there are still many questions that the board believes have not been properly addressed by the state agency Empire State Development (ESD).

Concerns have been raised by the board of the project’s impact on traffic, the constant influx of commuters coming into Floral Park for Islander games, Floral Park becoming a “soft target” for terrorism, propane cylinders being installed for the project and the location of a new LIRR station at the north parking lot of Belmont Park to support the project.

The village is continuing to request more time to review the impact of new additions to the project in July.

With the project’s construction plans being approved by the state’s Franchise Oversight Board on Aug. 13, ESD spokesman Jack Sterne said now the project will be able to move forward.

Just before the deadline for the public comment section for the project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement came, the village of Floral Park appealed for a supplemental impact statement to address new additions to the project. The state will not be issuing a supplemental statement at this time.

Floral Park received the support of Presiding Officer Rich Nicollelo (R-New Hyde Park) and Legislator Vincent Muscarella (R-West Hempstead) along with Assemblyman Edward Ra (R-Garden City South) and Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages (D-Elmont) for calling for a supplemental impact statement.

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Tom McCarthy

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