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SBD/May 12, 2011/Facilities
Islanders, Wang Hopeful New Arena Proposal Secures Team's Future
Published May 12, 2011
FACING A STEEP CLIMB? The Nassau Interim Finance Authority, a state fiscal watchdog, said yesterday it is "deeply concerned" about Mangano's proposal to borrow $400M for the new arena project. The NIFA, which "controls the county's finances and must approve the borrowing for the project, warned of the 'fiscal implications' for the county and said it was not consulted about the proposal." NIFA BOD member George Marlin said, "With the county in a state of fiscal despair -- and the fact that they are laying off county employees -- to saddle taxpayers with another $400 million in debt and to spend scarce dollars on a special election in my judgment is absurd." On Long Island, Robert Brodsky notes if the measure passes, a "supermajority of the legislature would have to authorize the borrowing, though NIFA could decide to squelch any bond issue" (NEWSDAY, 5/12). YAHOO SPORTS' Sean Leahy wrote, "If the vote happens to fail, it's not the final nail in the coffin for the Islanders keeping their home on Long Island ... but the lid will be just about shut" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/11). A NEWSDAY editorial states Mangano "deserves credit for trying to move forward the stalled development." But to "get the job done now, he'll have to convince voters that borrowing $400 million to publicly finance this new complex won't cost an extra dime." Mangano "has asked a panel of county elders to identify and even recruit complementary development of the 77 acres of county-owned land around the arena." The panel should "do even more and provide its opinion on whether income from the lease and sales taxes would cover the cost of borrowing an estimated $25 million to $40 million a year" (NEWSDAY, 5/12).