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Mar 18, 2009 11:20 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Tuckahoe voters approve land purchases

Mar 18, 2009 11:20 AM

Voters on Tuesday gave the Tuckahoe School District the green light to purchase two properties for future expansion of the Tuckahoe Common School.

Of the 280 ballots cast in the referendum, 156 were in favor and 124 were against buying the properties.

Voters signed off on buying a house at 46 Sebonac Road, and the half acre its sits on, to the east of the school’s soccer field for $515,000, and a 1.5-acre patch of woods at 430 Magee Street, just south of the Tuckahoe playground, for $580,000.

“We’re thrilled,” superintendent Linda Rozzi said on Tuesday, just hours after the polls closed.

According to School Board Chairman Robert Grisnik, the property must be purchased now so that in the future, once the district outgrows the Tuckahoe Common School, it will be possible to expand the building and add new classrooms and other facilities.

School officials said they do not know how soon the extra space might be needed, but enrollment is on an upswing.

The Tuckahoe School serves 367 students from pre-K through eighth grade.

Taxpayers also approved spending up to $600,000 of surplus tax money and another $600,000 out of the district’s capital reserve fund to make the purchases. Because the board plans to use surplus and reserve funds, the acquisitions would not result in any property tax increases, Mr. Grisnik said. The total price for both properties is just $1.1 million, meaning voters authorized the use of $105,000 above and beyond the purchase price. A small portion of the extra $105,000 voters approved will be used to cover minor closing costs, and the rest will go toward replenishing the capital reserve fund, according to Mr. Grisnik.

Voters approved the creation of a capital reserve fund three years ago and have now, by passing the referendum Tuesday, given the thumbs-up to expanding the scope of the reserve to include purchasing real estate.

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Please get out and vote "NO!" to this outrageous request. The prices of these two parcels do not reflect the continuing downswing of the real estate market,
Read the article in the magazine section of Sunday's NY Times. "Real estate sales are down in Southampton by 47% from last year", yet this Board wants to run out and pay top dollar for unnecessary land.
Tuckahoe residents are overburdened with taxes, 90% of which go to keep this school afloat. It takes $28,000 per student to educate ...more
By Phanex (83), Southampton on Mar 16, 09 6:08 PM
Ditto to Phanex!!! These east end school districts need to get in touch with the real world!!! Consolidation is what is needed! Cut the spending and give the over taxed working class a break! JUST VOTE NO!
By powerwalker (52), Southampton on Mar 16, 09 10:12 PM
Of course Linda Rozzi is "thrilled". The School Board managed to snooker the
taxpayers using phony urgency once again. The real urgency was the rush to hold another dead of winter vote guaranteed to have low turnout. This may be the biggest real estate deal in the area for the next five years. Congratulations the taxpayers have been screwed once again. CONSOLIDATION OF THE EAST END SCHOOL DISTRICTS IS IMPERATIVE.
By Phanex (83), Southampton on Mar 18, 09 2:40 AM
Voters got it right this time! Good going, congrats Tuckahoe and the children that will benefit from this logical step in the school's expansion. And, no, the taxpayers didn't get ''snookered'' because we're not as smart as you, no we don't use the morally and fiscally bankrupt NYTimes in our arguments and no....we are not out of touch with the real world....we're just wiser than you are.
By hamptons surfer (79), southampton on Mar 18, 09 6:16 AM
The purchase of this available land in a down market for top dollar is only a :logical step" to people committed to expansion whether it is justified or not by
facts and by the mindset that taxpayers will foot the bill without questioning as long as you mention children. Since when it is an intellectual claim not to use statistics in the NY Times. As for being "wiser", time and the tax bill will be the judge of that.
By Phanex (83), Southampton on Mar 18, 09 3:54 PM
The purchase of the 1.5 acre wooded area makes sense as it can be cleared and used as sports fields when a school expansion takes part of the existing fields away. But why pay the same amount for a house on 1/4 acre of land. What is the house for, the Superintendent? the house will have to be torn down ansd what will really be gained for that sliver of land? Vote NO unless they change it to only purchasing the 1.5 acre piece of land.
By Walt (292), Southampton on Mar 18, 09 10:56 PM
walt, thanks for helping us to understand those that would vote against this measure....the voting has finished. you didn't win.
By hamptons surfer (79), southampton on Mar 19, 09 11:20 AM