A handful of Islandia residents and a village trustee Tuesday night raised questions about parking and public safety at the recently opened Suffolk OTB video lottery casino.
Some residents attending a village board meeting said it appears Jake’s 58 Hotel & Casino, on the Long Island Expressway north service road in Islandia, may not have enough parking for bettors. Some casino customers have parked on nearby streets since the casino opened Feb. 27.
Islandia officials have said they are planning to install up to 200 parking meters on Bedford Avenue and Raymond Drive, west of the casino. Village officials and Buffalo-based casino operator Delaware North have said the hotel has enough parking for customers.
“Delaware North said they had sufficient parking, and now they don’t,” village resident Carla Caruso said.
Islandia resident Fran Pekor said some casino customers also parked on the service road in front of the hotel.
“It’s scary,” she said. “I just think it’s dangerous.”
Mayor Allan Dorman said the parking meters would help generate revenue for the village. He said the village is soliciting bids from several parking meter vendors.
“If they’re going to park there,” the village should “make a couple of bucks for the residents,” Dorman said.
The casino is expected to help financially ailing Suffolk County Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. escape bankruptcy.
Trustee Diane Olk said she learned of the parking meter plan from a Newsday story last weekend.
“We had a meeting last week. Nothing was said about parking meters,” Olk said. “Is this something the board does behind closed doors?”
Dorman said the meter idea was his.
“Not the board,” Dorman said. “Me.”
Islandia resident Rich Meyer said two men who he believed were casino customers drank beer and urinated near his home hours after the casino opened. He said he called the village public safety office and no one answered the call.
“It’s day one and I’m already dealing with this,” Meyer said. “This is nonsense.”
Village officials said the public safety office is staffed around the clock. Dorman said he would look into why Meyer’s call was not answered.