September 5, 2006
Long Island environmentalists this week joined with Nassau County Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs (Woodbury), a member of the Planning, Development and the Environment Committee, and her fellow County Legislators to urge the approval of a $100 million Environmental Protection bond that will appear on this November’s ballot for voters’ approval. All 19 lawmakers supported the environmental legislation which went before the full legislature early this week. The legislation, which was cosponsored by Legislator Lisanne Altmann (D-Great Neck) and Legislator Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick), chairman of the Planning, Development and the Environment Committee, passed unanimously.
Nassau County Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs (speaking at podium) is joined by (from left to right) Neal Lewis, executive director of the Neighborhood Network; Lisa Ott, executive director of the North Shore land Alliance; Legislator Lisanne Altmann; and Adrienne Esposito executive director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.
Presiding Officer Jacobs said that the proposed referendum would go before voters in November and if approved, would authorize the county to bond $100 million for environmental programs, including the preservation of the county’s remaining open space.
“Nassau County’s first open space bond for $50 million was a resounding success story,” said Jacobs. “We believe we will once again receive the support of the voters, who know that Nassau’s precious open space is quickly disappearing. A year from now, two years from now, it could be too late.”
“I believe that the voters of this county will step up to the plate once again by supporting this important environmental program package,” said Legislator Denenberg.
“Approval of this environmental bond will go a long way towards helping us preserve natural resources that are vital to our quality of life here in Nassau,” said Legislator Altmann.
"With land prices rising dramatically and so little open space left, we must act now to protect and restore natural areas while we still can. We are very grateful to the Nassau County Legislature and County Executive for understanding the importance of protecting our environment and giving voters the opportunity to choose to do something about it. $1.33 cents per month is a very small price to pay to preserve the quality of life we enjoy in Nassau County,” said Lisa Ott, executive director of the North Shore land Alliance.
"This legislation will allow the Nassau voters to take direct action in a November referendum to create an earmarked fund dedicated to environmental programs that will protect our drinking water and preserve our remaining open spaces," said Neal Lewis, executive director of the Neighborhood Network.
The first open space bond preserved 72.3 acres of land and development rights were purchased on 43 acres. The first bond also addressed park improvement, clean water, and brownfields projects.
The proposal will ask voters to approve a charter amendment setting up an environmental fund to be paid off through a dedicated tax, estimated to cost the average tax payer about $16 a year for 20 years.
Richard Amper, executive director of the Pine Barrens Society, said, “County Legislators are giving Nassau voters the bargain of a lifetime by offering them drinking water protection, open space preservation and parks – all for just 16 bucks!”