Nassau County's Nickerson Beach, where Dover Gourmet would spend at...

Nassau County's Nickerson Beach, where Dover Gourmet would spend at least $200,000 a year to upgrade concession stands under a settlement set for a vote in the Nassau County Legislature. 

Nassau County legislators on Monday are expected to vote on a legal settlement with food vendor Dover Gourmet, owned by Isaac "Butch" Yamali, that would reinstate the company as concessionaire at county parks, golf courses and beaches for the next five years. 

The settlement cleared the Rules and Finance committees on April 11 and is expected to win approval by the full Nassau County Legislature, where Republicans hold a 12-7 majority. 

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, a Republican, said the settlement "is in the best interest of local taxpayers" and will "provide substantial ongoing revenue to the county and facilitate the improvement of Nassau's facilities."

Under the agreement, Dover is expected to spend a minimum of $200,000 per year to upgrade concession stands at county-owned Nickerson Beach, and a minimum of $125,000 on maintenance and repairs throughout the county parks system. 

The county will receive 10% of gross receipts from sales at Nickerson (15% for special events), or a minimum payment of $200,000 annually, whichever is greater, according to Blakeman spokesman Christopher Boyle. 

The county has no operator/concessionaire for most of its parks, and even without considering the legal dispute with Dover there is no time to procure an alternative vendor for the 2022 season, the settlement document says.

Yamali declined to comment Friday.

Dover ran concession stands at county properties including Nassau Community College, Nassau University Medical Center, Nickerson Beach and Eisenhower Park under a 10-year contract that began in 2009. 

The administration of former Nassau County Executive Laura Curran in the fall of 2019 terminated Dover's contract and refused to grant an extension, saying the company owed Nassau Community College more than $213,000 for vending machines on the Garden City campus.

Dover sued Nassau, alleging the contract with the county was terminated "in bad faith," and that an agreement between Yamali and former Deputy County Executive Rob Walker to extend his contract through 2021 was valid.

A State Supreme Court justice agreed with Yamali's position in an April 2020 decision. 

Dover also owed more than $400,000 in fees to operate the coffee and gift shop at NUMC. 

Yamali disputed the county's claim and said hospital officials hurt his business by not fixing the kitchen's exhaust system after it broke.

Hempstead Town officials in 2019 also said Dover had not paid rent for nearly a year at the town's Malibu Beach Park in Lido Beach, and owed $531,400.

In December 2020, the Hempstead Town Board voted to settle a separate 2019 lawsuit brought by Dover and to award the company a 15-year contract extension to operate a restaurant, concession stand, day camp and beach club at Malibu Beach Park.

Legislative Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport), who voted against the settlement with Dover in the Rules Committee, said the Blakeman administration should rebid the contract instead of awarding it to Dover. 

"Nassau County taxpayers are tired of clubhouse connected contracts and sweetheart deals. This settlement would reward a vendor who has a spotty performance record with a no-bid contract extension that they didn't even ask for," Abrahams said.

"Nassau taxpayers deserve better, and this contract should immediately be rebid to ensure that the county gets the best possible deal for residents," Abrahams said.

County Inspector General Jodi Franzese is reviewing the settlement but has not yet issued a public report.

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