Meetings & Information


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Garden City wants studies before video slot machines go to Fortunoff site

Garden City wants studies before video slot machines go to Fortunoff site

Garden City village, a Republican stronghold, has entered the fray over plans by Nassau’s Off-Track Betting Corp. to locate as many as 1,000 video slot machines in the former Fortunoff department store in south Westbury.

If Garden City turns against the proposed gambling parlor, the county GOP would pay attention because of the village’s many Republican voters.

But the village hasn’t reached that point, it seems.

In a letter to Nassau’s Off-Track Betting President Joseph Cairo and state and local officials, the village this week asked for more studies before VLTs are installed in the vacant store at the Source Mall.

“The Village of Garden City is of the opinion that prior to any determination of placing a video slot machine facility . . . at the former Fortunoff Store Site . . . that there be more formal public input about the project’s desirability and detailed economic, environmental and traffic impact studies regarding the proposal,” wrote Village Administrator Ralph Suozzi on behalf of the mayor and village board.

Suozzi requested public hearings, meetings soliciting public input and completion of economic, environmental and traffic impact studies.

OTB said Friday it “looks forward to working with all elected officials that represent the communities adjacent to the proposed Video Lottery Terminal gaming facility. Rest assured that we will continue to address the issues and concerns of local residents that have arisen as a result of the possible siting of a VLT facility in a small portion of the former Fortunoff flagship store.”

A bipartisan mix of elected officials have come out against the Fortunoff site, including County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican; Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, a Republican; Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, a Democrat; Nassau Legis. Siela Bynoe (D-Westbury); and Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallero, a Republican.

State Sen. Jack Martins (R-Old Westbury) has suggested the mini-casino be located at the Nassau Coliseum — though others, including the Coliseum leaseholder, oppose that location.

Some Republicans say that State Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City), whose district includes the Fortunoff site, sent a letter to Cairo last week about the Fortunoff proposal. Hannon has not returned Newsday’s requests for comment for the past 10 days and his local public relations person said he could not confirm that a letter had been sent.

Mangano and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone had requested the state legislature approve VLT’s for Long Island as a way to increase revenues for their counties.


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