Opinion

I read with great interest the article by Peggy Maslow in the Dec. 27 issue of the Port News covering the Annual Meeting of Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington. On the agenda that night was a discussion of the future of Hempstead Harbor Park, which has recently been turned over to the Town of North Hempstead by Nassau County. The article reported on a disagreement about the cost of reopening the Aerodrome, which has been in continuous operation on the county land for 35 years.

Panelist Ken Casser, representing the Hempstead Harbor Aero Modelers Society, the HHAMS, made comment that while the Aerodrome is presently closed due to a remediation project the county is funding, new runways will be laid down as part of that project, thereby costing the town nothing, contrary to what Supervisor Jon Kaiman claimed in his opening remarks. When a microphone was opened for comments from the audience, I stepped up. As president of the HHAMS, I wanted to make it clear to the audience that reopening the Aerodrome would cost the town nothing, as new runways are part of the remediation project, being paid for by the county with funds received in a grant from the state, and that the HHAMS will rebuild the rest of the facility with our own money and labor.

At that point Councilman Fred Pollack jumped up to a microphone, telling me that I shouldn't be making false statements at this meeting. He then stated that new runways are not part of the present project and the town would have to pay for a new aerodrome. While the article reported this disagreement, I was disappointed to see that it did not report who was correct.

The fact is that new runways are part of the project that is being paid for by the county. We have spoken to the chief engineer from the contractor doing the work and he is aware of this fact. Subsequent to this meeting, I and another HHAMS member met with the Nassau County Public Works Department, which is running the project, and reviewed the plans that do indeed include replacing the runways.

Supervisor Kaiman was incorrect when he stated that it would cost the town some $600,000 to reopen the Aerodrome. Councilman Pollack was incorrect when he claimed that the town would have to pay to replace the runways. We want the public to know that reopening the aerodrome will cost the Town of North Hempstead nothing. I hope that in the future when publicly discussing this matter, Mr. Kaiman and Mr. Pollack first get their facts straight.

Roy Coniglio

President of the HHAMS


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