Questions rise on validity of Coliseum referendum

Nassau residents will vote in August on whether to borrow $400 million for a new Nassau Coliseum, but some say the referendum will not be

WOODBURY - Nassau residents will vote in August on whether to borrow $400 million for a new Nassau Coliseum, but some say the referendum will not be valid unless it is legally binding.

If this is the case, any plan to borrow the cash would have to be approved by the state watchdog agency NIFA and the Legislature.

"You have to have every 'i' dotted and every 't' crossed, every question answered as to how this is going to take place," says Legislator Wayne Wink (D-Roslyn). "Otherwise, taxpayers are going to say, 'We're not footing the bill and we're not giving you a blank check.'"

County Attorney John Ciampoli said in a phone interview today that the impending vote is step No. 1 in a long line of things that would have to happen before the plan is a done deal.

"The binding part is that the executive branch needs to develop a program for the redevelopment of the Coliseum site," Ciampoli said. "The binding part is also that the Legislature will take up the question of bonding.

Voters will head to the polls Aug. 1.

Legislators to let residents vote on fate of Nassau Coliseum

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