In an unprecedented move that has aligned the Sewanhaka Central, Elmont and Floral Park-Bellerose school districts, a special forum has been scheduled on Thursday, May 7, at 7 p.m. at Sewanhaka High School’s auditorium to garner support and educate the greater community on the merits of the NY Cosmos’ Development project at Belmont Park.
“The point of this forum is to simply put the facts out to the community,” said Elmont School Board President Michael Jaime. “For two years, the governor’s office has sat on this proposal; our focus is to educate and send a message to the governor that we mean business.”
The announcement of the forum took place on Wednesday, April 15, in multiple venues in Floral Park, Franklin Square and Elmont. Specifically, the Floral Park- Bellerose Board of Education, Franklin Square Chamber of Commerce Meeting and Elmont Panthers Sports Club were some of the sites of the initial announcement. More community promotion of the meeting is ongoing.
“When communities come together like Floral Park, Elmont, South Floral Park, Bellerose Village, Bellerose Terrace and Stewart Manor, our voices carry weight and we will be listened to,” said Floral Park-Bellerose School Board President Laura Ferone. “This forum is a positive outlet to educate, organize and send a message to the governor.”
The hosts of the forum have invited NY Cosmos representatives and experts to answer questions as well as offer information to residents in the greater area. The forum has the distinction of being the only meeting where information will be presented where questions and answers will be addressed.
“The Cosmos plan is clearly a project that has broad-based support and has caught the attention of countless people throughout Long Island, New York City and New Jersey,” said Elmont School Board Vice-President Anthony Maffea. “We cannot allow our community to lose out on a transformative project that will increase the value of our homes, create jobs and provide tax revenue.”
The move by the three school districts comes as a result of recent news accounts of the Cosmos considering other alternative sites for their development plan. “Our greater community deserve an answer and the opportunity to speak,” said Sewanhaka Central High School District President Dave Fowler. “Opportunities like this do not happen every day; we must seize the moment and let our voices be heard.”
According to the development proposal, the 25,000-seat soccer arena is coupled with a retail shopping area, community parks, hotel, re-opening of the Belmont LIRR train station and payment of taxes to authorities. The proposal will also create over 3,000 jobs in construction, professional, retail and other assorted areas.
The forum will be moderated by Jaime and Ferone with questions being handed in by residents who will submit them at the beginning of the session. The forum will commence at 7 p.m. and conclude by 9 p.m. The address for Sewanhaka High School is 500 Tulip Ave., in Floral Park.
—Submitted by Sewanhaka Central High School District