Remsenburg Speonk school officials modify plans for new parking lot

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Administrators at Remsenburg/Speonk Elementary School announced this week that they intend to slightly modify their plans for a new parking lot at the school to ensure that buses will be able to safely maneuver through the lot.

At their work session on Monday night, School Board members explained that the new driveway will now be installed about 17 feet closer to the school than originally proposed. The change will have no effect on the cost of the project, which is projected to cost $715,000.

The district is paying for this project with leftover money from its capital and unreserved funds. The project, approved by taxpayers via public referendum in March, will have no impact on taxes, according to school officials.

School Superintendent Katherine Salomone noted that Dunn Engineering, the Westhampton Beach-based firm hired to design the project, recently took aerial photographs of the existing parking lot. After studying the photos, the engineers realized that bus drivers would have trouble pulling into the new lot if the driveway wwere placed 30 feet from the building, as originally proposed. Under the new plan, the driveway will be installed 13 feet from the building.

“This is good for the kids,” said School Board Member Lisa Fox, noting that students will not have to walk as far to get into school on cold days.

The expansion project will increase the size of the parking lot from 47 spaces to 145 spaces. Sidewalks and a raised crosswalk will also be installed. The work is slated to begin later this year and should be finished in August, before the new school year begins.

Board members also discussed the details of their upcoming school budget presentation that will be held on Monday, May 12, at 7:30 p.m. at the elementary school on Mill Road.

The $11.3 million spending plan recently adopted by the board, if approved by district taxpayers on Tuesday, May 20, will increase overall spending by almost 9 percent over this year’s $10.4 million budget. The spending plan will also result in a projected 3.7 percent increase in school property taxes, as the district tax rate is expected to jump from $4.29 per $1,000 of assessed value to $4.45 per $1,000 next year.

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