Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D-Glen Cove) recently announced that a $95,000 Hotel-Motel Occupancy Tax fund grant for Friends of Cedarmere, an organization dedicated to the preservation of the Roslyn Harbor estate of poet, journalist and longtime New York Evening Post editor William Cullen Bryant, will be awarded in full.
The Legislature initially authorized a Hotel-Motel Occupancy Tax fund grant of up to $95,000 for Friends of Cedarmere in mid-May 2020. Hotel-motel grant funds are generated through an occupancy tax on Nassau County hotels and lodging facilities; those proceeds are set aside for promoting programs and activities that enhance tourism in Nassau County.
However, dwindling hotel sales tax revenues caused by a sharp decline in tourism and the impact of a regional economic slowdown amidst the COVID-19 pandemic jeopardized the availability of as much as half of the full grant. Working with Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton successfully advocated for reversing initial plans to reduce the grant, and secured a commitment to award the full $95,000 to Friends of Cedarmere.
In addition to the Hotel-Motel grant, the County has committed to providing additional support to the Friends of Cedarmere through $135,000 in capital plan funding, which will be used to restore a mill on the property and dredge an adjoining pond in an effort to clear obstructions and improve water quality. Bonding for the dredging and mill work was approved by the Legislature in November 2020.
“By dedicating these resources to the preservation and enhancement of this historic gem, Nassau County stands to reap both cultural and economic rewards that will support our regional recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton said. “I am glad that we had the opportunity to work with County Executive Curran, sharpen our pencils, and reach a fiscally responsible outcome that preserves Hotel-Motel grant funding for Friends of Cedarmere.”
—Submitted by the office of Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton