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baltimoresun.com

Vote Set For Monday On New Nassau County Coliseum

Plan Calls For $400 Million In Funding

By PETER THORNE

PIX11.com

4:31 AM EDT, August 1, 2011

UNIONDALE, L.I. (WPIX)

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It's down the wire in Nassau County, Long Island

What will happen to the Nassau County Coliseum and the hockey team that calls it home. On Monday will voters approve a plan to borrow 400 million dollars to pay for a new hockey arena and minor league ballpark?

As for building a replacement for the Nassau County Coliseum, if voters give the $400 million borrowing plan a thumbs down, the New York Islanders might move out of town ,when the team's lease expires in 2015 -- or the owner might just sell the team.

Borrowing so much money would be controversial in good economic times. But, in the middle of an economic downturn, it's even more contentious -- especially in Nassau County which is reportedly facing a $100 million budget deficit this year.

The plan for new construction calls for a replacement for the coliseum: A minor league baseball park, and reportedly a possible track and field facility.

It would call for an estimated four percent increase in county property taxes to foot the bill, but the proposed new arena would send a portion of its proceeds back to Nassau County -- even if voters say "yes," the county legislature could still step in and say no.