Village Determines There Is Sufficient Capacity For Proposed LEGOLAND® New York
GOSHEN, N.Y. – The Village of Goshen Board of Trustees passed a resolution Monday night to provide water and sewer service to the proposed LEGOLAND® New York theme park.
After engaging an engineer to conduct an independent water and sewer system analysis, the Village deemed that its water and sewer systems are sufficient to supply service to LEGOLAND New York. To ensure the future water needs of the Village are met, LEGOLAND New York will pay for the Village’s development of additional water resources. The Village also confirmed there is sufficient capacity in the Village’s sewer plant to serve the project.
By purchasing water and sewer service from the Village of Goshen, LEGOLAND New York will provide a significant revenue source to the Village.Based on anticipated usage, LEGOLAND New York will pay the Village approximately $900,000 per year.
“We are very pleased that the Village of Goshen has confirmed its availability and willingness to supply water and sewer service, which is crucial to the LEGOLAND New York project,” said Phil Royle, Head of Community and Project Relations for LEGOLAND New York. “This provides important infrastructure needs for us to move forward.”
“I strongly support this preliminary agreement between the Village Board and Merlin,” Village of Goshen Mayor Kyle Roddey said. “Under the terms in the resolution, Merlin will fund the development of a new well on the Village owned property in the Town of Wallkill so there will be no impact on the Village’s current water supply. Based on flow projections and the rates outlined in the resolution, Merlin will pay the Village over $900,000 annually for water and sewer service. This preliminary agreement achieves all the objectives outlined by the Village Board at the onset of these negotiations. It maintains sufficient water and sewer capacity for current users and future Village growth while providing a financial benefit to Village ratepayers.”
Orange County had been wooing developers for months after Legoland scrapped plans last year to build in neighboring Rockland County. The Lego company began to look for another site to build their theme park after their first choice in Haverstraw was rejected by the town. At the time the plan was to build in Rockland County, the state set aside millions of dollars toward the project.
Sources say the proposed Legoland would now be built along Harriman Drive near Route 17, the Times Herald-Record reports.
The massive half-billion dollar project includes a 170-acre amusement park, hotel and aquarium. The complex would draw an estimated 2 million visitors a year. Such a theme park could create about 1,000 jobs, bring in additional tax revenues and aid local restaurants and small businesses, county officials told the newspaper. The company reportedly was planning to invest $250 million in the Rockland County site before the project was scuttled.
As with many new projects, the proposed number of jobs it will offer local residents is often unclear and sometimes exaggerated in the process of locking in the deal, some sources have even stated ‘When up and running, the park will employ over 1,500 jobs,’ MidHudsonNews.com reported in May 2016.
Merlin Entertainment’s Chief New Openings Officer, John Jakobsen shared a much smaller number last month
“We would employ about 500 people on a full-time basis, part-time and seasonal staff, and create jobs and economic benefits for the community,” Jakobsen told told Eyewitness News 7 in July.
The project is expected to be its first East Coast theme park and the largest Legoland park in the world and that has some local residents concerned. It will be built just south of the former Arden Hill Hospital, now a BOCES facility, off Route 17.
Some Local Residents Are Concerned About Impact on 170 Acre Amusement Park Will Have on The Community
While Village of Goshen Mayor and Board of Trustees strongly support the project and state there will be no impact of the Village current water supply, some concerned citizens of Goshen and Orange County are questioning the overall impact that huge project will have on the community.
“This is a very large company,” said Legoland opponent Susan Herrmann. “I’m not against Legoland, I’m concerned about the size of the development, I’m concerned about the impact on the community.”
Residents say the project is too big for their quaint small town and a strain on water, sewer and emergency services.
“That old town feel that Goshen is, which is rare in this world and the internet world, this town still has it. It’s going to lose it one swipe,” said Legoland opponent Alec Phillips.
Another concern is that Legoland is asking for 30 years worth of tax breaks in exchange for roughly $108 million in payments to Goshen schools and to Orange County.
We are a group of concerned citizens of the Goshen and Orange County community who are concerned about the serious impact that a 170 acre amusement park will have on our community. Legoland has indicated that the Park will attract between 1.8 and 2.2 million visitors each year via the NYS Thruway, route 17 and our local roadways. The noise and air pollution and tremendous traffic congestion, use of limited water and taping into Goshen Sewer system threaten our way of life. The amusement park, waterpark, hotel and guest campgrounds are located directly between Glen Arden Assisted LIving and Boces School The Exits for Goshen will compromise the ability for Goshen residents. We hope to coordinate efforts to convince the Town of Goshen Town Board to oppose this harmful development proposal and ask Legoland to leave Orange County and go elsewhere.
STOP LEGOLAND GOSHEN NY started this petition with a single signature, and now has 862 supporters.
Legoland theme parks are located in California and Florida. They also are in Denmark, England, Germany, Malaysia and Dubai. Legoland parks feature a number of roller coasters and other rides, but they are aimed more at families with younger children that those at other major amusement parks. The parks also feature a Lego miniland featuring landmarks made of Lego bricks.
There is strong support among lawmakers.
“When you increase people visiting your county, everybody benefits, the gas stations, the restaurants, the convenience stores, the hotels,” said Orange County State Senator John Bonacic.
Opponents vow to keep up the fight, but Legoland hopes to break ground by next spring and open by 2019.
About Merlin Entertainments plc: Merlin Entertainments plc is a global leader in location-based, family entertainment. Europe’s No. 1 and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates over 100 attractions, 13 hotels and four holiday villages in 23 countries and across four continents. The company aims to deliver memorable experiences to its more than 60 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its approximate 27,000 employees. Visit www.merlinentertainments.biz for more information.
About LEGOLAND Parks: The first LEGOLAND Park opened in 1968 in Billund, Denmark, following by Windsor in the United Kingdom in 1996 and in California in 1999. In 2002, LEGOLAND Deutschland opened. Since 2005, those four parks have belonged to British-based Merlin Entertainments Group. In 2011, the group opened LEGOLAND Florida and LEGOLAND Malaysia in 2012. LEGOLAND Dubai is scheduled to open in October 2016, with LEGOLAND Japan scheduled for the second quarter of 2017.