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Letter: Membership Would Bear Costs of Country Club Facility

I am writing to address the ongoing discussions by the North Hempstead Town Board addressing the issue of a Town of North Hempstead take-over of the Roslyn Country Club property.

Our family has been longtime residents of the community, moving here in 1981. I have also been both an active member, officer, and member of the board of the local civic association. For many years prior to becoming residents, my siblings and I visited the facility with our parents who became Outsider Members along with many of their friends from Kew Garden Hills. Historically, while Resident Membership was maintained at $150 per year, Outsiders were charged at the Market Rate, which exceeded $1,000.  If made into a Town park, the facility would offer no discounts to local residents and be available to all Town residents at the same cost.

Much of the current community discussion centers on the potential costs to acquire and operate the existing facility—and whether the facility will generate enough money to cover all the costs, so that taxpayers will not have to.  Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Councilman Tom Dwyer have been abundantly clear that the Town will not move forward unless they believe it will.  Given that many paid the outsider costs of joining this facility, it escapes my why anyone would assume that people would not join now for a much improved facility at similar cost.  No one has even attempted to explain this.  

In comparing the costs of this facility, the opposition fails to take into account the fact that costs for other town facilities are based upon acquisition costs, if any, and construction costs of a much earlier era. I wonder what they would be if adjusted for 20-30 years of inflation.  While these acquisition and improvement costs are one-time costs and not affected by inflation—all of the park’s revenues will likely increase with inflation, making payoff without tax burden even easier over time.

The only fact that critics seem to have right is that the property would come off the tax roles. The costs of acquisition and operation, as stated repeatedly, by Supervisor Kaman will be borne by the membership. No shortfall whatsoever is expected, and any shortfall would result in higher usage fees for the membership.  Again, the Town will not go forward unless it believes that any risk of tax shortfall impact as a result of the acquisition would be diminimous.

Burt Roslyn