Review: Group opposed to new Islanders arena is not from NY

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ELMONT -

A group opposed to a plan to build a new arena for the New York Islanders in Elmont is reportedly organized and funded by interests in other states.

The plan calls for the construction of a new arena for the Islanders at Belmont Park, along with retail, dining and entertainment components.

An advertisement taking aim at state Sen. Todd Kaminsky, posted on YouTube several months ago, says it was paid for by a group called "Elmont Against the Megamall."

A Newsday review of financial disclosure forms revealed that the group has $650,000 at its disposal, but it's not actually based in Elmont. Instead, it lists a California address as its home base, and documents reveal it receives its funding from a Viriginia-based group called "Citizens for Responsible Development."

News 12 reached out to the organization's local board members, but all either declined requests for an interview or failed to return calls. Kaminsky says he doesn't know who's behind the money.

But others say while there may be questions about "Elmont Against the Megamall," there is no doubt that there are people in the community who have serious concerns about the arena plan.

MORE: Public hearings on Belmont Park redevelopment plan begin

Tammie Williams, who works with a separate community group, says, "The opposition is not faceless.The Belmont Park Community Coalition has been around for years. This is the third proposal by the state and the third administration we are dealing with."

The $1.2 billion arena plan remains subject to an environmental review, which is expected to be completed by June.

The Islanders hope to be able to play in a new arena at Belmont Park in time for the 2021-2022 season.

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