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Rocky Point Approves Referendum to put Capital Reserve Projects to Vote

Three projects, to be put up as one vote, include a synthetic turf field and improvements to the track and instructional laboratories.

The Rocky Point Board of Education on Monday unanimously approved a referendum to put one proposal for three capital reserve projects up for vote in a public election on Nov. 19.

The estimated project costs include $1,010,000 for the replacement of the grass field with synthetic turf, $680,000 for the reconstruction of the existing track and $300,000 for the reconstruction of instructional laboratories. The projects would be submitted for building aid reimbursement from NYS at approximately 70 percent of the actual project costs. Reimbursement could potentially reduce the net cost to $597,000.

When a question of whether or not the projects could be proposed separately was raised, the board explained that building aid would not be received if the outdoor projects were not tied to indoor improvements.

“If we are going to do outside improvements, which are called site improvements, we need to have something done inside the building in order to get state aid,” Ring said. “Something outside would have to be linked to something inside. It couldn’t be a three-part vote unless it was noted that the other two parts can’t pass without the first passing.”

Board president Michael Nofi said the board made the final decision to put all three together. At the meeting, community members again voiced differing opinions on the matter.

“The one concern that I have is we should look at maybe refurbishing the bathrooms,” said Jennifer Intravaia. “A lot of them have not been updated since I went to high school here, which is a very long time ago. Not that I’m against artificial turf, I think we have to look at the actual needs in the school. My concern is the cost of the turf may eventually be pushed to the taxpayers.”

Ring mentioned that bathrooms have been worked on after a referendum approved in 2011, and they will continue to be worked on. With regards to future costs of the turf being put on the taxpayers, board vice president Diane Burke assured community members that all aid received would be put back into the reserves so that would not be the case.

“If the project passes and turf goes in, we know down the road in 10-15 years there’s going to be another expense to again improve [the turf],” she explained. “We have spoken to the administration and said that if this project gets passed, we want that money that’s coming back in aid to go back in to the capital reserve fund so that it’s not a hit on the taxpayer in 10-15 years when that turf needs to be replaced.”

Joe Spallina, who has been a coach at Rocky Point, Stony Brook University and with Major League Lacrosse, was vocal in his support for the turf field.

“I can tell you personally having been an athlete on that field and then for years being a phys-ed teacher on that field, the condition of the stadium field used to be the pride and joy of this community but it has deteriorated greatly,” he said. “How bad has it gotten the last five years? A lot worse, and with that being said…how bad is it going to get in the next five years? When you put those things together you’re going to have a situation where the field is going to become a major issue.

“The facility at Rocky Point, it’s not good enough for my kids and honestly, it’s not good enough for anyone in this room’s kids and it’s a situation that’s only going to get worse. I think this can help bring pride back into Rocky Point.”

If approved, construction would begin on June 22, 2013 and the planned completion date for all three projects would be Aug. 30 of next year.

“This is a decision for the community to make and we look forward to them making it,” he said. “Whatever the community decision is, whether it be for or against, we as a board will execute on their wishes to the best of our ability.”

Phillip September 28, 2012 at 10:42 AM
I also agree with a few other commnets. We need to spread the word and we need to vote this down. They can't keep thinking that they can do these sorts of things. We've been critizing earmarks by the government. Isn't that what this is?
AnotherLocalMom September 28, 2012 at 12:38 PM
What we need is a strong grass roots campaign in Rocky Point. I know some of us (I'm one) are afraid to express our opinion publicly, but there's no reason that, through e-mail, talking to people one on one, that we can't let people know about this. I go to the board meetings as aften as I can, mostly because I'm really concerned about the rising costs of our taxes. I still have a child in the district, and I was told by another mother not to speak up because, when she did, it was taken out on her child. I've said this before, during the budget process, that my concern is that my children, one is in college now, won't be able to live here when they graduate. We've lived here all oru lives and I'm looking at my children having to move out at some point because they can't afford housing. There are a lot issues about the current proposition. One are the health issues that th district doesn't seem to even what to look at. The other is that if they deplete this fund they'll have to refund it. Some of it will come form the refund, yes, but soem of it will come from us!
Bea Ruberto September 28, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Wlodek, Thank you for clearing up what actually happened in Miller Place. I didn't realize what their intent was, but as Mercurio says, this doesn't change the objection that some of us have aobut the RP BOE. That they could allow a vote on the three propositions and still link them in a way so that all the props. that pass will be aidable.
Martha Prifte September 28, 2012 at 05:01 PM
When is the RP Community going to wake up. The JAEdgar building has never had new bathrooms put in.The roof leaks when it rains..... This building is a Historical landmark and should be treated as such. Since one of our board members is the athletes director at one of our neighboring districts, he just wants to keep up with the " Jones". Why isn't any of that money being used to offer more courses to our " Special Needs" population???? They to have to go out into the world and keep down a job that would allow these students a successful adult life. ITS NOT ALL ABOUT SPORTS and ADVANCED PLACEMENT programs. Its the Districts job to provide a successful education for the ENTIRE school population. YOU KNOW that money is going to come back and bite taxpayers in the BUTT , somewhere down the line. AND now the BOARD has set the vote up--- if you don't vote for one , you won't get the other!!!!!
HerbertC September 28, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Vote no, no, no, on this! If we don't spend close to $2 million on the turf, then we can fix the labs, the bathrooms, the roof, and maybe still have some left over. Don't be afraid to vote no because you want those labs fixed. That's the part that costs the least. They can be fixed after this is voted down. This community does need to wake up and speak out. Don't let them continue to hold us to hostage!

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