Long Island Federation of Labor President John Durso on Wednesday urged Nassau County residents to vote in favor of $400 million in bonds when it's put to a vote on Aug. 1.
Durso, a chief supporter of the Lighthouse project, called the latest plan "probably our last chance to save the Islanders and develop that area."
Earlier in the day, team owner Charles Wang, County Executive Ed Mangano and Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray pitched using the bonds to pay for a new arena for the New York Islanders.
"In the building and construction trades, about 30 percent are unemployed," Durso said. "Thousands and thousands of union people are unemployed or underemployed. We need this to get the economy started again."
Durso was also a big proponent of the Lighthouse project, Wang's proposal to turn the 77 acres surrounding the Nassau Coliseum into a multi-use center, complete with a new arena, skyscraper, hotels and office buildings.
But he's ready to move forward.
"It's scaled down from what we had hoped for," Durso said. "But it will pump tens of millions of dollars into the economy. And while the bond is not small, it is not astronomical."
Patch Note: We will be talking to leaders from throughout Nassau County about the latest Coliseum development proposal. Keep checking back, and please let us know what you think.