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Supporters, Opponents Voice Views On Game On Referendum

Dorrine Livson, Worthington-Woodlands Civic Association president, said The Westchester Field House doesn't belong in a residential area. Photo Credit: Contributed
Martin Hewitt, Game On 365 project manager, said The Westchester Field House will bring money to Greenburgh and provide a year-round sports facility for children. Photo Credit: Contributed

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Today is the last day Greenburgh voters can mull over whether the construction of The Westchester Field House on Dobbs Ferry Road is a good idea.

On Friday, both sides of the issue were given the chance on GATV to voice their opinions on whether a lease with Game On 365 to build a 94,000-square-foot sports complex should be supported. In case you missed the airings, here are links to each side:

Martin Hewitt, Game On 365 project manager, joined several Greenburgh residents supporting the lease, stating The Westchester Field House will provide Greenburgh with revenue and a year-round facility for their children to train and practice.

"Over the next 15 years, Game On 365 will provide to the town of Greenburgh over $5 million in taxes and rent payments," Hewitt said in the video supporting the lease.

Several Greenburgh residents also spoke on the video — some saying the complex could not only provide part-time jobs to local students and revenue to the town, but also would allow the schools's student-athletes to practice year-round.

Some simply said they were tired of paying taxes for a site that wasn't being used.

Representatives of Greenburgh's local civic associations said the lease was too economically and environmentally risky. On the opposing side of the lease was Bob Bernstein, Edgemont Community Council director; Tom Bock, Fulton Park Civic Association vice president and Dorrine Livson, Worthington-Woodlands Civic Association president.

Livson said she didn't want to see her quiet community be disturbed by an 80-foot-high complex or its traffic. She's not against the facility — her kids grew up playing sports in Greenburgh — but against its location.

Because the former site of Frank's Nursery frequently used pesticides and insecticides, it could be a dangerous place for children to be, she said.

"This structure does not belong in this community," Livson said in the video. "We have to make it safe for the children to play in these fields if it is going to go through."

Bernstein said the lease also is an economic risk and called Hewitt's insistence the town will gain more than $5 million in revenue "shenanigans."  He said $1.4 million in back taxes plus interest still needs to be reimbursed from the foreclosed property.

"This is a terrible proposal for Greenburgh tax payers," said Bernstein, a local attorney, in the video. "The economics make no sense. The money to be received is going to be offset by the taxes that have to be paid by the town in back rent, back taxes, interest on back taxes and future taxes."

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