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Eisenhower Park ice rink owners make $100G late payment to Nassau; contractual obligations remain unsettled

Twin Rinks Ice Center at Eisenhower Park in

Twin Rinks Ice Center at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow. Credit: Daniel Brennan

The owners of a privately funded ice skating center in Eisenhower Park have made an overdue $100,000 payment to Nassau County, but still lack a required $150,000 performance bond and an account to fund improvements to the facility.

Twin Rinks Ice Center signed a 30-year contract with the county in 2012 allowing it to build the 165,000-square-foot facility. In exchange, Nassau is due annual payments starting at $100,000 and capping at $180,000.

In a 2013 groundbreaking ceremony, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano touted the $15 million complex as a "sports-entertainment destination" that would create two dozen jobs and generate $35 million in economic benefits to the local economy in its first five years.

Twin Rinks at Eisenhower LLC is owned by brothers Ronald and Joel Friedman, and Chris and Peter Ferraro, twin brothers from Port Jefferson who previously played for the New York Rangers.

Brian Nugent, Nassau's deputy Parks Department commissioner, wrote to Ronald Friedman on April 23, advising him that his initial $100,000 licensing fee payment was late. The payment had been due April 15.

After Newsday inquired about the late payment Thursday, Joel Friedman, who is also president of Clearview Capital Management, LLC, a Connecticut private investment firm, delivered a $100,000 check to an Eisenhower Park official Friday morning, said Nassau County Attorney Carnell Foskey.

In a statement, Joel Friedman said Twin Rinks has a "bright future and an excellent staff that will serve the Long Island community for a very long time. We have met all our financial obligations to Nassau County." He did not respond to a request for an interview.

But Foskey said Twin Rinks has yet to set up a $150,000 surety bond that ensures contract completion in the event the company defaults.

Twin Rinks also must create a reserve account that would use 2.5 percent of its gross receipts to fund regular improvements to the building. The first deposit was due in October with payments due quarterly, according to Nugent's letter.

If Twin Rinks fails to comply with the contract, Nassau can end the agreement and take ownership of the facility, according to the agreement.

"The operator is making efforts to meet their obligations," Foskey said in a statement. "However, should they default, taxpayers will benefit and receive a new multimillion dollar facility for public use."

Calls to Ronald Friedman, a partner at the Jericho law firm of SilvermanAcampora, and to Chris and Peter Ferraro were not returned.

The ice center, which opened in April 2014, has two indoor NHL-sized rinks, a smaller outdoor rink, a sports therapy training area, pro shop and restaurant. The facility hosts youth and adult hockey leagues, and offers skating lessons, camps and clinics. Mangano delivered his State of the County address there this year.

In 2013, the Nassau Industrial Development Agency granted Twin Rinks $100,000 in sales tax breaks to purchase building materials, furniture, equipment and machinery.

In April 2014, Twin Rinks was granted another $2 million in sales tax breaks to complete construction. But IDA executive director Joe Kearney said the owners never signed the forms needed to complete the financial assistance package.

"They abandoned the assistance," Kearney said. "I don't know why but it happens occasionally."

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