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Legislators Show Love to Greenburgh Tennis Bubble

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – State legislators are getting close to completing a proposed law that would allow a year-round tennis facility - open to the public - to come to Greenburgh.

Assembly member Thomas Abinanti (D-Greenburgh) said Tuesday that, while he and his staff continue to tweak the details of a proposal designed to bring a “tennis bubble” to Anthony F. Veteran Park, the basic legislation is there.

“The goal is the Town of Greenbrugh should be able to make money on its facilities in the off-season to help pay for its facilities in-season,” Abinanti said. “It’s a very simple concept but because of the constraints of other laws there are some difficulties.”

On Tuesday, the town board agreed to host a public hearing on the draft proposal at Wednesday’s Board meeting.  A vote on a resolution of support for the plan is expected to be held Friday.

Town Council member Francis Sheehan said both the town and state lawmakers have taken into consideration the concerns of several residents and their input is reflected in the updated proposal.

“When you’re changing state law you want to get it right,” Sheehan said during the board’s work session. “I think Tom is working really hard to get it right.”

Last month, the town board deferred to Abinanti and State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers), asking them to draft a resolution that would allow the town to lease or license a tennis facility at Anthony F. Veteran Park that is open to the general public.

At the heart of the request is a proposed Sportime tennis facility that town officials estimate could bring in more than $3 million in revenue over the span of a 15-year lease.

In the way of the facility stands 20-year-old state legislation, the Finneran Law, which prevents residents from unincorporated Greenburgh from using the park’s facilities. Sportime has said without letting the general public use the tennis facility, the unit would not be profitable enough.

Both Abinanti and Cousins voiced their support for the tennis bubble but said that changing the Finneran Law, which was the town’s initial intention, was unlikely to happen in the near future.

Instead, they have said that passing a one-time piece of legislation would be the simplest solution and most likely to make its way through the legislature.

Abinanti said it is still feasible that legislators may get the plan signed into law before they break for vacation next month but Supervisor Paul Feiner continues to stress a rushed timeline.

“Every day that goes by makes it tougher to get the legislation approved,” he said Tuesday.

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