Voters Approve Bridgehampton School Five-Year Capital Reserve Plan

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Bridgehampton taxpayers last week approved a $1.5 million, five-year capital reserve plan to fund repairs to the Bridgehampton School building. District residents approved the creation of the fund, 49-21, last Wednesday, March 20.

The district can now begin the fund with money saved from transportation costs following last year’s budget vote, an overestimate on health insurance based on state numbers, bill collections from other districts, savings by repairing rather than replacing the gym floor, and out-of-district student placements that were planned but didn’t come to fruition.

Approximately $1.35 million in repairs will be completed over a five-year period, but the district currently has $604,000 to put toward the fund. Officials have said the plan will not exceed $1.5 million.

Approximately $200,000 in repairs is needed in the coming year, including urgent matters, such as repairs to the heating and lighting systems, as well as repairs to the school’s fire escapes. Officials said that the district is behind on repairs, some that were recommended as many as 10 years ago.

Bridgehampton’s proposed roll-over budget, keeping all programming and personnel the same, is currently $11.5 million, which is a 4.7-percent increase, or $514,355, from this year’s adopted budget of $10.9 million. School officials are still working to trim the spending plan to stay under the 2 percent tax levy cap. Currently, the expected tax levy is $10.2 million based on the rollover budget. Officials said that they need a $747,221 increase in the tax levy but by law can increase it by only $423,036.

School Selected For Grant

Through a $2 million New York State Education Department grant dispersed by Nassau and Eastern Suffolk boards of Cooperative Educational Services, Bridgehampton School was recently selected to receive 16 laptops, a wireless access point and printer, 20 mobile learning devices, access to online Advanced Placement courses and Preliminary-SAT registration for ninth-graders. The Southampton and South Country Central school districts also will benefit from the grant.

The funding was possible through New York State Department of Education’s Virtual Advanced Placement Program, which is meant to develop, implement and provide access to online AP courses through purchasing hardware, courseware and other items for Long Island’s low-income students. About $17.36 million in funding was distributed in February—Nassau BOCES received the largest grant, $2 million, out of 17 school districts or BOCES-led consortia.

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