Editorial: Greenburgh sports bubble not yet a done deal
The people have spoken. Now it's up to the lawyers.
Voters in the Town of Greenburgh overwhelmingly approved a ballot proposition on Nov. 6 for a sports bubble in town -- 66 percent in favor to 34 percent against.
But whether a plan to build an indoor fields and sports facility in town is realized goes well beyond the public's support for the plan and possibly even a judge's ruling.
A legal fight over the validity of the lease is being waged in court -- led by a competing company, Elm Street Sports Group. No matter how that game plays itself out, there are still many unknowns about up cleaning up the site, which was contaminated by an oil spill.
The developer, Game On 365, has plans to build a 94,000-square-foot dome and a 15,000-square-foot field house on Dobbs Ferry Road. In exchange for a 15-year lease, the group would pay $260,000 a year in rent to the town.
Even though the potential tenant also has committed to pay up to $125,000 for remediation of the oil spill, that may not cover the entire bill. It's hard to know for sure since there's no further information on the extent of the contamination.
That's where the town could be on the hook. So, despite a public mandate -- 7,473 votes to allow the facility and 3,863 votes against -- the town must do its due diligence.
The town must ensure it will get the best deal for its taxpayers to address environmental problems, foster smart development and grow a much-needed tax base.
A public referendum shows there's support for this concept, but now the plan has to make its way through the court fight and the town planning, zoning and environmental reviews.
There's still plenty of work to do on this bubble to ensure that it doesn't blow up on taxpayers.