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CSSP Speaks Out About Board's Actions

Peter Negri, CSSP president, says he isn't surprised Erwin & Bielinski reached conclusion that mirrors what it presented to the board nearly two years ago.

Peter Negri, CSSP president
Peter Negri, CSSP president
Peter Negri, president of the Committee to Save St. Paul’s, is speaking out about the village board's recent 5-3 vote to reject the committee's proposal for partial reuse of St. Paul's, stating the committee is not surprised that Erwin & Bielinski reached a conclusion that mirrors what it presented to the board during the Environmental Impact Study nearly two years ago.

Here is Negri's statement in full:

The Committee to Save St. Paul’s (CSSP) stands by the proposal it presented jointly with The Garden City Historical Society to the Garden City Village Board of Trustees. That proposal was based on a comprehensive plan, developed by reputable engineers and architects with experience in historic preservation.

The Committee also sought input and recommendations from experts in various fields, who are themselves Village residents, and who volunteered their time and experience. In addition, the Committee put its proposal under the microscope, and an outside architect found it to be in compliance with ALL state and local building codes.

At the request of the Board, the costs of our proposal were verified by an independent third party consultant, Lawless and Mangione, recommended by the Village. Most important, our proposal and all of the reviews were made at no cost to the Village.


CSSP never stated that its proposal would make use of the entire building; instead, the proposal was presented as a viable “first step,” protecting the entire building and adhering to all fire safety measures throughout the building. We outlined usage of about 10,500 square feet for community space. None of the work to be done was “throw-away,” but could be incorporated into future uses.

Unfortunately, the Committee is not surprised that Erwin & Bielinski has now reached a conclusion on the CSSP proposal that mirrors what it presented to the Board during the Environmental Impact Study nearly two years ago. Residents must be reminded that this Board of Trustees then presented a referendum to demolish St. Paul’s to the voters in April 2011. But the people, 4,400 strong, reached a different conclusion—and defeated the referendum by an overwhelming 3-to-1 margin.
Jack O'Niel December 28, 2012 at 10:03 AM
Hey Pete, we voted to not pay for the demolition - that's all. We didn't vote to pay to "save" the building either.
GCBob December 28, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Jack, you are so right, the vote was basically to not spend taxpayers money on demolition or anything else. Mr. Negri is claiming a victory by twisting the facts while presenting nothing new to the public. He continues to wrap and re- wrap the same old package. The CSSP claims that there is a need for this building where no need exists and he wants to use other people's money to build a monument to himself and his supporters. I just can't buy what Mr. Negri is selling, a bottomless money pit.
Peter J. Tomao December 30, 2012 at 09:45 AM
Jack is right, The referendum was about spending money not about saving the building. The debate has taught us that the building cannot be saved without spending money - which we don't what to do. Let's also admit that this issue can't be decided by consensus. Whatever happens some people will be unhappy. It is time for those people who wanted to be trustees to make the hard decision, It's ime for the rest of us to stop name calling and recriminations.
Dennis Mega December 31, 2012 at 01:55 PM
This debate was over long ago. The CSSP has tried, in every way possible, to keep the "save St. Pauls" issue going forever but village residents have made it clear that any further expenditures on it are not acceptable. The Board has examined and debated this situation ad nauseum and the residents have spoken. The only thing left to decide is how to remove St. Pauls at the least cost to the village. Let's move on and make good use of this valuable property.

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