(Mineola, NY) Senator Anna M. Kaplan submitted the following formal comment to Empire State Development regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Belmont Park Redevelopment Project:
"The redevelopment of Belmont Park has the potential to be a force for good in our community, bringing jobs, infrastructure enhancements, improved public facilities, and an expanded tax base, which could reduce the burden on local taxpayers. It is critical, however, that the voices of our community are heard through this process, and that the community benefits from the investment being made.
I have identified the following areas of concern, which must be addressed before I can fully support this project.
- A commitment must be made by the project developers to use union labor and provide job opportunities, apprenticeships, and internships for local residents.
- There needs to be a realistic, comprehensive public transit plan that actually works, and will alleviate the inevitable traffic that this project will generate. That should include a full service Long Island Railroad Station.
- There must be a concrete plan for community reinvestment, including a completely new Elmont Road Park, and a larger community space on the project site, which should house a workforce development program for local residents, in addition to other programs and services determined by community input.
We have a real opportunity with this project to make a positive impact on a community that has not received its fair share of investment for a long, long time, and I will be following this process every step of the way to make sure that it does."