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Jun 27, 2012 11:04 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Town May Not Have Funds For Tuckahoe School Sidewalk

Jun 27, 2012 11:34 AM

Tuckahoe School students may have to wait a little longer for a new sidewalk to be installed in front of the school—because Southampton Town has apparently run out of money for the project.

And administrators in the district aren’t too happy about it.

“It sounds like he has no money, and he’s looking for a grant,” School Board President Robert Grisnik said of Southampton Town Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor during a School Board meeting on Monday night. “This is unacceptable to the school district. We cannot let it go through another school year.”

Mr. Grisnik stressed the importance of providing a sidewalk for Tuckahoe students in the coming year and said the board would step up to push for the construction project to happen sooner rather than later.

“We don’t want to go through another winter,” he added. “The students can’t get out on the sidewalk portion of the road because of the snow. I want to go to the Town Board and talk to them about this.”

Several months ago, Tuckahoe School officials requested that the Southampton Town Highway Department conduct a boundary line study on the western side of Magee Street to get the ball rolling for a summer sidewalk construction project—a necessary step they said would enhance the safety of their students walking to and from school.

Because there is no legal way to make a U-turn on Magee Street heading south, some parents are forced to drop their students off on the west side of the street, where there is no sidewalk. According to School Superintendent Chris Dyer, the biggest problem occurs when snow is piled on the shoulder, forcing children to walk on the busy street.

School officials were aiming to have the project completed over the summer so that the sidewalk would be ready to go for the new 2012-13 school year.

Mr. Gregor met with district officials in December to discuss the sidewalk and outline its specifications.

The Highway Department estimated in December that the 512-foot-long, 5-foot-wide sidewalk would cost approximately $28,000 to install from County Road 39 to Sebonac Road. Mr. Gregor said the town would need to conduct a boundary study in the spring and work with residents who live on that side of the street to determine what private property was in the town’s right of way, and could be used for the sidewalk. He said once the study was completed, he would then be able to “make a promise once I see what land we have.”

According to Mr. Dyer, the study has been completed, but whether the town has the available funds to complete it remains up in the air.

In a letter addressed to District Clerk Linda Springer last week, Mr. Gregor said the “town has pre-committed this year’s sidewalk funds, for the most part.”

In the same letter, Mr. Gregor expressed his intention to apply for a federal grant from the New York State Department of Transportation to fund the project. The “Safe Routes to School Program” gives federal dollars to schools provided they make a commitment to educate students about using sidewalks. Tuckahoe School would need to submit supporting documentation of their efforts before the grant was awarded.

Mr. Gregor did not return calls seeking comment this week.

Unfortunately for the school and the students, the grant would not be approved until November of this year, according to Mr. Dyer.

The School Board members agreed to draft a letter expressing their support for the grant, as well as their desire to see the project done before the school year begins.

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all the money spent west of the canal ???????
By alocal (9), Southampton on Jun 27, 12 12:00 PM
Sidewalks won't make any difference if Morrow gets his mega-mall. Magee street will become a dangerous pass-through going right by the school for hundreds of cars each day.
By witch hazel (224), tatooine on Jun 27, 12 1:14 PM
Hit like by mistake. I don't agree all that hundreds more cars a day would go past the school if we get a grocery store two blocks away on the other side of the highway! All over the world, schools are built on streets with cars on them.
By SusieD (115), Southampton on Jun 27, 12 3:42 PM
2 members liked this comment
Witch Hazel is exactly correct. Anyone living North of the highway in Sebonac area would cross right in front of the school as the proposed mega-disaster will be right at the Magee street light.
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Jun 27, 12 6:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
Nonsense.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Jun 27, 12 10:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
Thats the light they use for everything now.
Jim Frankenbach
By JFrank (2), Southampton on Jun 28, 12 8:39 AM
The town has the $28,000 if they look. They just don't want to build the sidewalk.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Jun 27, 12 2:53 PM
Why doesn't the district pay for it? THey just got their budget increase
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Jun 27, 12 6:07 PM
We need a sidewalk for all of the people that will be walking to the new supermarket. Why doesn't Southampton Town just bring a wrecking ball to the Tuckahoe School. Between their hitmen at the Southampton CAC, their complete absence and silence during the budget fubar and their lack of desire to provide a freakin' sidewalk - God forbid we screw up the privet hedge of a hack local artist ne surfer dude. Keep track of who said there isn't 28,000 for a sidewalk. That same person will need to find ...more
By Samuel Walsh (17), Southampton on Jun 28, 12 5:41 AM
Your demeaning remarks about the people who live across from the school detract from a reasonable request to install a sidewalk for the convenience and safety of parents and children. Then your extreme $28,000,000 argument shouts out that you and others are just using the school as an excuse to cover your NIMBYism over a grocery store two blocks away.

There are more of us than you'd imagine in Tuckahoe who do support both the school AND a decent alternative to Waldbaum's nearby.
By SusieD (115), Southampton on Jun 28, 12 7:00 AM
1 member liked this comment
An alternative to Waldbaums "nearby"? A mile and a half is not nearby? To satisfy your want for convenience you would like to see Tuckahoe turned into a traffic nightmare of suburban blight? How about a Target and Walmart or Kmart? To say that a 60,000 square foot strip mall would not increase traffic on Magee street is to be in complete denial.

By the way, the fight against the market is not about "Nimbyism" it is about protecting the district from the greed of those who want.
By witch hazel (224), tatooine on Jun 28, 12 9:45 AM
1 member liked this comment

Give me a break - this is such an easy problem to fix for the safety of our children and the parents who have to walk with them. Anna and the Town Board can easily write a check on this safety hazard. They waste an incredible amount of money in funding out of control Cadillac benefits for patronage Town employees with over the top benefits that those employed in the private sector or are unemployed can only drool and fantasize over.

Bennies such as super expensive and absurd lifetime ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Jun 29, 12 4:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
They are spending hundreds of thousands to defend cops in the anti drug task force. This town is a mess none of the board members are leaders they are just puppets for their parties.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jul 2, 12 8:24 PM
Key: "In the same letter, Mr. Gregor expressed his intention to apply for a federal grant from the New York State Department of Transportation to fund the project. The “Safe Routes to School Program” gives federal dollars to schools provided they make a commitment to educate students about using sidewalks. Tuckahoe School would need to submit supporting documentation of their efforts before the grant was awarded." "Safe Walks to School" requires the Town AND the school to be involved ...more
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Jul 2, 12 10:36 PM