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Town moves ahead on Roslyn park plan

The Town of North Hempstead wants to turn

The Town of North Hempstead wants to turn the former Roslyn Country Club into a town park with completely renovated swimming and tennis facilities. (June 07, 2012) Credit: Newsday/Danielle Finkelstein

Plans to create a park district around the shuttered Roslyn Country Club edged forward this week after the North Hempstead Town Board authorized a contract to buy the property and issue bonds for improvements.

The 7-0 vote Tuesday follows the town's establishment of the park district in December, and its approval last month of a contract for engineering services.

The action allows the purchase of the roughly 7.3-acre property from owner Manouchehr Malekan for $2 million, using funds from the town's Environmental Legacy Fund, and the issuance of $7.5 million in bonds for upgrades and renovations.

Among them are an outdoor heated pool, a spa, playground, and resurfaced outdoor tennis courts. The park district covers 727 homes and eight nonresidential plots around the development.

Under the plan, district property owners will pay for the bonds and automatically become members. Town residents outside the district can buy memberships at higher rates, Councilman Thomas Dwyer said.

Dwyer, who represents the district, hailed the creation as vital for a community that was devoid of a park, adding, "It is an area that will survive as a park; it will flourish as a park."

At times his voice choked up at what was likely the last meeting for Supervisor Jon Kaiman. In office since 2004, Kaiman said he will resign later this month to begin a state storm-recovery post.

"A long time coming," Kaiman said.

Dwyer, moments later, said: "It is truly a legacy project; I'm proud to be a part of it."

As the town weighed the resolution, and heard from homeowners praising the plan, Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio worried about the town's exposure to litigation. She expressed concerns over extinguishing the easements that Roslyn Country Club homeowners had, giving them exclusive rights to the club as a condition of the property's sale to the town.

Dwyer said Wednesday, "We've mitigated the risk enough that it makes sense to do this transaction."

The board entered executive session to discuss the issue, because the discussion involved ongoing litigation, officials said. Afterward, the vote sailed through.

"I am still concerned," De Giorgio said after the meeting, but added she did not want to "derail" the project.

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