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Good Morning

Letter: Tough decision over Oyster Bay land

The abandoned Cerro Wire site in the Town

The abandoned Cerro Wire site in the Town of Oyster Bay Credit: NEWSDAY/MICHAEL E. ACH

On Aug. 20, the Town of Oyster Bay is asking voters to decide whether it should sell a 54-acre parcel now used by the Department of Public Works ["Mauling over the mall," Editorial, Aug. 11]. A driving force behind the sale is to reduce the town's debt to prevent a downgrade in its bond rating.

Cash from the sale, approximately $32.5 million, would temporarily alleviate the town's fiscal problems.

Although the town has deemed the DPW parcel to be surplus, the town desires that any transaction for the DPW parcel contain a lease component so the town can lease the DPW parcel for five to 10 years after the actual sale for storage and related operations. Will the town need to purchase another site for such operations upon the expiration of its lease?

A yes vote means that you believe the town should sell the DPW parcel to a consortium that wants to prevent another developer from purchasing the parcel to build a shopping mall that would compete with the consortium's area malls. The consortium has indicated that it plans to build a mixed-use development after the town lease expires.

Taubman Centers Inc. would like you to vote no. Taubman owns the adjacent 38-acre parcel and has been trying to build a mall on that property for almost 20 years.

I do not want the mall, nor does the East Norwich Civic Association, but do we really want the Town of Oyster Bay to sell off such an asset to close a very deep financial hole?

Matthew T. Meng, Oyster Bay

Editor's note: The writer is the president of the East Norwich Civic Association.