According to this newspaper, “The CPF haul for 2020,” by this September, had already surpassed 2019 by 46 percent [“CPF Haul For 2020 Surpasses 2019,” Residence, October 29]. This $84.68 million Community Preservation Fund bonanza is burning a hole in the political pockets of East End muckety-mucks looking to cash in for political capital and override the original intent to “preserve” open space for which the funds were created.
In reality, the CPF is an additional real estate tax that has not been stewarded well: This “haul” needs to be overhauled and overseen more carefully than it has been.
To assess how well the CPF is fulfilling its purpose — and this should be mandated before any further consideration of the inappropriate two-story sports complex, née “pool,” proposed for off County Road 39 in Tuckahoe — you only have to read the letter of Thomas McElrath [“What’s Going On?” Letters, October 29], who revealed the conditions at the Conscience Point Marina, another jewel in the CPF crown: overflowing garbage, “dirty restrooms, ‘out of order’ signs on bathroom stalls, broken ladders, broken lights, and more.”
In addition, Mr. McElrath says he was “blown away” by reports that the running of this marina was on the verge of being turned over to a private company.
Tuckahoe residents should heed this snapshot as a “Back to the Future” warning in the midst of all the pie-in-the-sky promises of sustainability, and heaven-sent assurances of a steady cash flow and no traffic problems are hawked by the pool zealots.
Tuckahoe was previously written off as a service ghetto, where unwanted development silted down from official decisions enacted to maximize profits and preserve the environs of the rich. Unregulated environmental scars like the Rambo Inc. sandpit, with its unchecked roster of composting tenants, alongside other local entrepreneurs, cemented the reasoning that since that was already there, might as well dump other dubious things as well. Mistakes, too disruptive of local underpinnings to correct, were compounded into policy.
Tuckahoe residents have worked long and hard to expose and fight this. We succeeded in defeating a destructive mall proposal, only to now have Jay Schneiderman purchase the land with CPF money and finagle to jam more traffic-creating, inappropriate, hybrid development in the same spot.
It is time to hold the line on the use of CPF monies, reexamine the use and status of previous allotments of millions of public dollars that can filter into private business, and account for it. The STAR Aquatic pool/sports complex proposal has to be vetted as to monies on hand, projected income or “donations,” their nonprofit or not-for profit classification, the possible path to paying for maintenance through school budgets (increased taxes), and whether they intend to morph into a private entity that will provide lucrative salaries for a few.
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One fine body…