The Town of Hempstead banner announcing the reopening of Elmont...

The Town of Hempstead banner announcing the reopening of Elmont Road Park in June 2022. Credit: Provided to The Point

Daily Point

A field grows in Elmont

The Town of Hempstead is committing about $900,000 of its capital budget to a new turf field at Elmont Road Park — a park that was renovated just over a year ago.

The park’s previous $3 million face-lift was part of the community benefits associated with construction of UBS Arena at Belmont Park. Developer New York Arena Partners completed the renovation in spring 2022, but Hempstead Town officials initially refused to open the park, citing what they described as safety concerns. After public pressure, the town opened the park that June.

But since then, Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin told The Point, the main grass field in the park has been plagued with drainage and other issues, rendering it at times unusable.

“Elmont always deserved the turf field and they’re going to get the turf field,” Clavin said. “What we predicted took place. The field … is wet, it’s soggy and you can’t maintain it.”

Town officials are placing the funds for a new multipurpose turf field in Hempstead’s capital budget, which must be approved by the town board before the end of the year. Clavin said he hopes the new turf field, which can be used year-round, will be completed by next spring.

When asked whether New York Arena Partners would foot the bill, Clavin chief of staff Jack Libert told The Point that Hempstead officials have discussed the issue with the developer, but so far, the town will be paying for the improvements.

New York Arena Partners officials did not immediately return requests for comment.

“Elmont deserves to be treated better,” Clavin said. “They were shortchanged on this. We’re going to make sure they’ll get what they should have had from Day One.”

— Randi F. Marshall

Pencil Point

The Big Hassle

Credit: Granlund

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Quick Points

Embarrassments and delays

  • After insisting for weeks he would not turn to Democrats to get legislation passed to avoid a federal government shutdown, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy at the last minute turned to Democrats to avoid a shutdown — just like Democrats said he would all along.
  • After New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman pulled a fire alarm on a door in the Cannon House Office Building Saturday as he said he was rushing to the shutdown vote, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said, “This should not go without punishment … This is an embarrassment.” Shall we count the number of House embarrassments that have gone unpunished?
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would not serve as former President Donald Trump’s running mate if asked. Not to worry — Trump’s vitriol against him leaves DeSantis with as much chance of being Trump’s VP as he has of being president.
  • All large buses built nowadays in New York are required to have seat belts but there is no legislation requiring that they be worn. How sad is it that state lawmakers are focusing on that only after the deaths of two adults in the Farmingdale High School marching band bus crash?
  • Beyoncé’s recently completed Renaissance World Tour is estimated to have generated about $4.5 billion for the American economy, about as much as the 2008 Olympics did for host Beijing. And Beyoncé didn’t even have to build any new stadiums.
  • The fact that the remaining cars of the Long Island Rail Road’s new M9 fleet are now expected to be delivered four years later than original projections seems somehow — what’s the word — appropriate.

— Michael Dobie

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