Big crowds expected at Lighthouse project hearing
The Town of Hempstead's hearing Tuesday on the environmental impacts of the proposed Lighthouse project surrounding Nassau Coliseum is expected to attract more people than the 1,150-seat venue on the nearby Hofstra University campus can hold.
To accommodate the crowd, Hofstra has arranged to simulcast the hearing in the John Cranford Adams Playhouse into two rooms nearby and transmit audio to speakers outside.
Among the anticipated speakers is Bishop William Murphy, head of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, who is expected to offer his support to the project.
At the bishop's request, Lighthouse representatives, including developer Charles Wang, gave a presentation to parishioners at St. Martha's Church in Uniondale June 28. At that time, a diocese spokesman said Murphy supports the project because of the jobs it would create.
Monday, the Lighthouse Development Group agreed to pay the Uniondale Fire Department $425,000 for training, recruitment and new equipment.
Lighthouse Development Group president Michael Picker said the funding would go toward a new mini-attack pumper, which helps fight fires in parking structures with low overhead clearance, and for another ambulance.
Picker said the fire department volunteers are already trained to fight fires in multistory buildings, such as nearby RXR Corp.
"We are very excited about the deal," he said. "We've been working with the fire department to come up with appropriate mitigation and now with our support they have no issues with addressing the site."
Lighthouse supporters are expected to gather for a prehearing rally at the Coliseum -- organized by Lighthouse principals Wang and Scott Rechler -- then head across Hempstead Turnpike for the hearing.
State officials said agencies that are reviewing the project's impact will submit written comments before the public comment period ends Aug. 17.