April 23, 2007
Legislator Mangano Updates Community on Grumman Property
Legislator Edward P. Mangano hosted a community meeting on Thursday, March 29, 2007 to update local residents on the status of the acquisition of the U.S. Navy owned 105 acres formerly operated by Grumman. Over 500 interested residents gathered in the Bethpage High School Auditorium to obtain the status on the county’s plan for the property from representatives from Cameron Engineering, the Nassau County Department of Economic Development, the Nassau County Real Estate Department and the Nassau County Planning Department.
The objective of the meeting was to respond to input from the community gathered at previous informational meetings, provide an update on the environmental status of the property, discuss the U.S. Navy’s position on the transfer of the property, and share the next steps for the remainder of the visioning process.
Cameron Engineering reported that the remediation of the contaminated soil has been successful for the great majority of the property. In fact, ninety-six acres has been declared “Safe For Use” by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The remaining nine acres require extensive remediation, and the county is continuing to monitor the U.S. Navy’s plan to clean this property.
Additionally, Legislator Mangano reported the property has been determined to be in a New York State Empire Zone. This designation provides tax incentives to encourage qualifying businesses to relocate to the property, but does not reduce the tax revenues for the community. This benefit will create jobs and raise funds to help reduce the homeowner’s tax burden.
To cheers of applause, residents were notified that the 96 acres will not be used for housing of any kind. Rather, the preferred uses for the land will be for the creation of high-tech jobs, research and development, homeland defense, indoor recreation, sports and entertainment space and other office, light industrial uses. Approximately three acres will be given to the Bethpage Fire Department so they can establish a training facility for our volunteer firefighters.
Representatives of the County Executive reported the U.S. Navy has notified the County that they wish to sell the property and retain the proceeds. Deputy County Executive Bill Cunningham, with the support of Legislator Ed Mangano informed the U.S. Navy that Nassau County intends to complete the planning process, accept the property pursuant to the Congressional Legislation, select a developer and return the property to the tax role. Legislator Ed Mangano reported he has contacted Congressman Peter King and Senator Hillary Clinton, who are working with the U.S. Navy to continue the transfer process to the County and develop the property pursuant to the community planning process.
During the question-answer session, residents asked pertinent questions and expressed their remaining concerns about such issues as security, continued remediation efforts, transportation, zoning enforcement, preservation of open space, and continued communication between the county and the community. The next steps include soliciting a Request for Proposals (RFP) to potential developers, selection of the most appropriate purchaser, and approval by the Legislature and County Executive.
“I have worked hard to make sure that the county addresses community concerns and report their findings in a forum held in our community. I am pleased the process is moving forward. I will continue to monitor and participate in the planning process and do my best keep my neighbors informed of the progress. In addition, I am seeking to have the county acquire McKay Field, a six acre former Grumman picnic area and ball field, for public use and preservation of open space. I have nominated the property under the 2006 Environmental Bond Act, and I will continue to advocate for its preservation,” said Legislator Mangano.