Aug 06,2004

Abrahams refuses to approve Community Block Grant funding

Abrahams refuses to approve Community Block Grant funding

without holistic plan for Roosevelt & Uniondale

After calling on Town of Hempstead officials to more equitably allocate Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to improve areas throughout the town, including Roosevelt, Nassau County Legislator Kevan Abrahams (D-Hempstead) refused to approve a measure to fund the Town with its $5.4 million share of the grants. The entire CDBG funding package totals more than $18 million and funds over 3 towns and dozens of villages throughout Nassau County. Despite the lack of support from Abrahams and Deputy Presiding Officer Roger Corbin (D-Westbury), the measure passed the legislature, with a 15-3 majority.

Prior to the vote, Legislator Abrahams offered an amendment to the funding package that would have removed the Town of Hempstead’s $5.4 million share until a comprehensive economic plan for Roosevelt was presented to and approved by community leaders in that area.

“I want to see a comprehensive plan illustrating how the Town of Hempstead plans to spend the $5.4 million,” he added. “Communities like Roosevelt, Elmont and Uniondale need their business areas revitalized.”

Both legislators refused to support the resolution several weeks ago when it came before the full legislature, saying they believed that over the years the Town of Hempstead has overlooked many of the communities that need the grants the most, including Roosevelt, Elmont, and Uniondale.

“I’d like to see some of that money go towards commercial revitalization,” said Abrahams. “Although we tried to reach a compromise with the town to use a consultant to draft a plan, town officials rebuffed us.”

According to Legislator Abrahams, the Town of Hempstead funnels the grant money into projects that don’t reflect the priorities of the communities.

“I am disappointed in the town,” said Abrahams. “This is a setback for the community, but this is not the end. We will keep this issue on the steps of One Washington Street (Town Hall) in Hempstead.”

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