Legislature Approves Vanderbilt Resolutions
Three months into his term, Suffolk County Legislator William Spencer continues to deliver on his promises to his constituents. At last week’s General Meeting, Legislator Spencer received approval for several important resolutions regarding Centerport and the promising future of the Vanderbilt Museum. He secured appropriations in the amount of $300,000 in Capital Program funding for repair of the HVAC system in the Planetarium and his final appointment to the Board of Trustees was approved. Earlier in the month, two other appointments were approved and he was able to receive consensus to sell a de-accessioned, one-of-a-kind 1937 Chrysler Imperial Town Car to a local car collector for $275,000. This money will fund the preservation and maintenance of the museum’s collections.
“The future of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium is very important to me. We need to forge lasting partnerships with community members and business investors to bring our very valuable, historic properties back from the brink,” stated Legislator Spencer. “I promised residents of Centerport that I would do what I could to protect their quality of life while also protecting the pocketbooks of all Suffolk residents. These resolutions achieve both goals and I will continue to fight for the resources the facility needs to become self-sufficient without becoming disruptive to its neighbors.”
For several years, the Legislature has helped to support the Vanderbilt using dedicated funding for tourism promotion. This funding has assisted the Museum in staying afloat in this very difficult economy and during the rejuvenation of the Planetarium. Capital appropriations had been stalled however, until recently. Spencer’s resolution would appropriate funding for the HVAC repairs which were deemed critical as the $3 million dollar renovations of the Planetarium move forward. The roof, dome, lighting and auditorium are being repaired as well in anticipation of the installation of the new Konica Minolta Infinium V (Vanderbilt) star projector with 3-D 60-foot full-dome video and surround sound. The new Planetarium is expected to open by year’s end and is anticipated to be a huge step toward the Museum’s self-sufficiency. According to their website, it “will be one of the finest planetariums in the United States – which will provide a thrilling, totally immersive, audience experience” which should translate into many new visitors and increased revenue.
Spencer’s new appointees to the Board of Trustees have joined the Board at a very exciting time. The three new members are all from the community, two from the Centerport peninsula and one from Greenlawn. All three expressed an appreciation and love for the Museum that stemmed from visits as children or with their own children. They are active in the community and are interested in working to return the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium to its former splendor.
For the next month or so, Legislator Spencer’s District Office will still be located on the grounds of the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium at 178 Little Neck Road, Centerport, NY 11721. Office hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with evening hours on Monday until 7:00 p.m. Legislator Spencer is also available by appointment if these times are not convenient. Feel free to stop by, call or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story by Lora A. Gellerstein (Chief Legislative Aide to William Spencer).