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Release Date: December 19, 2012

On November 6th, Greenburgh town residents overwhelming approved, by a two-thirds majority, the establishment of The Westchester Field House by developer Game On 365 LLC on the old Frank’s Nursery property.  The referendum confirms that the public clearly recognizes the need for and benefits of an indoor/outdoor sports facility.  As is widely known, efforts to block this development have included a lawsuit alleging that the Town did not have a legal right to lease the property, but instead was required to sell the property.  Without commenting on the merits (or the Town’s views concerning the lack of merit) of these claims, the Town believes the public’s interest would be best served by expeditiously bringing The Westchester Field House to fruition without first having to go through years of unnecessary and wasteful legal procedures while the property sits unused.  Years of litigation would result in the land languishing, with the Town continuing to carry the responsibility for its taxes, as well as for environmental conditions that will require remediation.  In order to honor the public desire to see this project become a reality, without wasting time and resources on litigation while the property sits unused, the Town Board is considering selling rather than leasing the property to Game on 365 LLC.   The sale would eliminate the grounds for the existing lawsuit while simultaneously allowing for the project to proceed.  The sale would also fulfill the Town Board’s fiduciary duty to ensure that environmental conditions are properly remediated at no cost to the taxpayers, as these conditions will become the new owner’s responsibility once the sale if finalized.  The sale would also, of course, be subject to all required legal environmental approvals, including any requirements from the Department of Environmental Conservation.  In short, by this sale, years of time-consuming and expensive litigation can be avoided, the public can get what it overwhelmingly approved, which will include a higher return for the Town than what was offered by other bidders on the RFP, the Town can get the property back on its tax rolls, the site can be cleaned at no cost to taxpayers, and the facility can be made available for use as quickly as possible.  On behalf of the Town, we look forward to continuing our efforts to fulfill the public mandate for this sports facility and, toward that end, the Town will plan to address this matter at its first meeting of 2013.

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