GREENBURGH, N.Y. — In the Greenburgh Town Board's last public meeting before the referendum on Nov. 6, a resounding "No" was heard among citizens regarding the lease with Game On 365 — some even calling for Town Board members' resignations.
Local leaders, organizations and citizens living near the property where an 83-foot sports complex is proposed to be built on Dobbs Ferry Road voiced their final concerns to the board Wednesday night. Many claimed that without a complete environmental investigation, the pesticides and insecticides in the ground of the former Frank's Nursery site would be harmful to all of the complex's users.
"I think it's unfair of the town to put on the ballot a referendum asking people to make a decision about a lease without having a full disclosure of soil testing," said Westchester County Legislator Alfreda Williams, who represents Greenburgh on the county board. "At the very least, the public should be aware of this report before they vote."
Williams and others claimed the town's study of the area was "limited" because it did not test the soil, which could potentially contain harmful chemicals left over from its use as a nursery. Instead, an incomplete Phase I of the study tested only for petroleum spills.
"You're going to open the town up to incredible risk and liability, and, much worse, put the lives of our children at risk," said Simon Cohen, president of Burst the Bubble, a local organization that has filed a lawsuit against the town over the Game On lease.
Many who commented also referenced 10 former students of Briarcliff High School and Middle School who claim contaminated school fields there caused cancer.
Town Supervisor Paul Feiner assured those attending that he and the board had no intention of putting anyone in harm's way.
"I want to make it very clear that before there's any construction, the health and safety of residents and users of any facility at Dobbs Ferry Road has to be given the highest priority attention," Feiner said, adding that the Phase II results of the study are expected by next week. "After we get the Phase II results, we'll confirm it with the state DEC."
Ella Preiser, secretary of the Council of Greenburgh Civic Association, echoed the Edgemont Community Council's recent letter calling for Feiner and Town Board member Diana Juettner to resign.
"I really think some resignation should be tendered," she said.