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New park district plan in Roslyn Heights approved

The North Hempstead Town Board voted Tuesday to officially create a new park district around the shuttered Roslyn Country Club in Roslyn Heights, but put off approving the contract to buy the property and issue bonds for the improvements until next month.

At the short special meeting, the board also approved an agreement with Cameron Engineering and Associates in Woodbury for engineering services related to the new park.

"We are looking so forward to what this park could be, not only for this community but for the entire town," said Councilman Thomas Dwyer, whose district includes the property.

The town board still must approve the contract to purchase the roughly 7.3-acre property from owner Manouchehr Malekan for $2 million, and issue $7.5 million in bonds to pay for the improvements to the property, which it plans to do at its Sept. 10 meeting.

The bonds would be paid for by district property owners, who in turn would receive automatic membership in the new facility. Town residents not in the new district will have the option to buy memberships at rates that have not yet been released by the town.

Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio, who was absent from the meeting, issued a statement read by her administrative aide. In it she expressed concerns over extinguishing the easements that Roslyn Country Club homeowners had that gave them exclusive rights to the club as a condition of the property's sale to the town.

"It is outrageous that the potential liability for damages to the homeowners could become the responsibility of the Town and all of its residents," her statement read.

Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman disagreed, saying that the town determined it had little exposure to litigation over the deal.

"To simply not move forward because there may be some potential for litigation will result in killing this whole project," he said.

Todd Zarin, president of the Roslyn Country Club Civic Association, praised the board for its actions.

"It's going to be phenomenal for us and the people of the town," he said.

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