Specifically, Oyster Bay voters will decide whether the Town of Oyster Bay can sell a 53-acre parcel of its land, specifically, the current Department of Public Works property in Syosset for $32.5 million.
In voting booths, this is what you'll see:
- "Shall the resolution of the Town Board of the Town of Oyster Bay to sell 53.783 acres of certain surplus real property for the sum of $32,500,000.00 be approved?"
A "No" vote means they can't sell the land. You are saying "no" to the sale of the DPW property.
"Yes" or "No," the vote will not stop a mall or build a mall. That battle between two mall giants could go on for years, dragging the town into court fights for years to come.
The town wants to sell the land for two primary reasons:
First, the town board has opposed a planned mall at the former Cerro wire site adjacent to the DPW property. That property is owned by Taubman, the other mall giant financing the "No" campaign. Simon, Taubman's competitor, knows that paying $30 million upfront for owning the DPW property will make Taubman's chances of building less likely.
Second, the town needs the $32.5 million to lower its debt, keep taxes down and continue to make infrastructure improvements to town parks and recreation facilities. The sale might improve its bond rating, but that's not certain.
The 53 acres in question is a sprawling brownfield off the Long Island Expressway, used now to house town equipment and to park their fleet of garbage trucks. The town says the facility is outdated and has been declared surplus. The town wouldn't have to vacate the site for up to eight years.
If Patch readers have questions, post them in the comments below. We'll try to answer them specifically, one by one, by Monday night.
Tuesday's voting takes place in the polling places where you ordinarily vote for general and local elections.
Where to find more information:
You can bone up on the issues here and read the many comments this story has generated:
Venditto Responds to Lingering Debate.
Long Island Jobs Now website.
Venditto Refutes "Malicious" Claims by Mall Giant
Mall Land Fight Morphing into Political Fight
Town Offers Brochure on Program for the Handicapped
The Group Activities Program (GAP) is a social and therapeutic recreation program developed to meet the needs of Town of Oyster Bay residents who are mentally challenged, developmentally disabled, learning disabled or autistic.
The town is offering a brochure about the program.
“The primary aim of GAP... is to provide residents with quality social and recreational experiences in a well supervised setting,” said Councilwoman Rebecca Alesia. “This is accomplished by offering a variety of recreational experiences in an atmosphere of acceptance and friendship.”
The brochure explains the goals of the GAP, as well as eligibility requirements, the application process, the programs and services offered, and the benefits of this Town program.
It can be picked up at the Town Halls North (Oyster Bay) and South (Massapequa), the Department of Public Works (Syosset) and at major park facilities. You can also visit the town website here: