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Mangano moves to keep current Baldwin precinct site

Nassau County has settled on a location for a new home for the police department's First Precinct in Baldwin despite having a 30-year lease on another site negotiated in the final weeks of the prior administration.

The county now plans to purchase properties on both sides of the current dilapidated station house at 900 Merrick Rd., raze the old station and build a new one on the site, according to planning documents filed this week.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano asked a judge in February to void the lease negotiated by his predecessor, Thomas Suozzi. That lease would have placed the new station house in a partly vacant shopping strip on Grand Avenue and Ethel T. Kloberg Drive, just west of Baldwin High School. The lawsuit is pending.

The lease with Grand Baldwin Associates would cost the county $34 million, according to new Republican County Comptroller George Maragos. It includes $9.3 million in construction costs, $9.8 million for furnishings, and millions more in rent.

Aides to Mangano did not respond to repeated requests Thursday for cost estimates on the new project.

Planning documents say the county would purchase 884 Merrick Rd., owned by ZK Associates, which leases it to a branch of Huntington Learning Center, and 906 Merrick, owned by Peter Dilg, who runs an antiques store there.

The purchase was approved last night by the Nassau County Planning Commission. It still faces approval by the county legislature, where Republicans now hold the majority.

In his February court filing, Mangano, a Republican, said the original lease, approved by the lame-duck Democratic-majority legislature Dec. 16th, was "a gift of public money" that "does not even pass the laugh test."

Stuart Ball, an attorney for Grand Baldwin Associates, declined to comment Thursday.

Suozzi aide Bruce Nyman called Mangano's comments "nonsense." He said Suozzi, a Democrat, had worked with the local county legislator, Democrat Joseph Scannell, and Baldwin residents to find the best site.For his part, Scannell said in a statement only that he was "relieved that this long process appears to finally be coming to an end. I am very satisfied that the residents of Baldwin will be served."


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