Pierson School District Voters Approve Bond Measures

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On Wednesday, voters in the Sag Harbor School District approved two separate bond proposals, totaling about $9 million.

The first bond proposal, which was approved overwhelmingly, 740-369, was for $7,357,132. It will be used to make health and safety, energy conservation, building code and handicapped-accessibility improvements, as well as to renovate the buildings and parking lots at the Sag Harbor Elementary School and Pierson High School. Plumbing, electrical and climate control systems will also be upgraded. The first proposition also includes extensive upgrades to the Pierson Middle-High School auditorium, the Pierson shop and technology classroom area, and Pierson’s kitchen, as well as creating additional storage to alleviate clutter in the Sag Harbor Elementary School gymnasium.

For Sag Harbor School District residents living in the Town of Southampton, the first bond will raise taxes $10 a year per $100,000 of assessed home value. For district residents living in the Town of East Hampton, taxes will go up $10.31 per $100,000.

The second proposition, which was decided by only 78 votes, 585-507, gives the district funds to replace the existing Pierson athletic field with synthetic turf and to add a two-lane walking track around the field, was for $1.62 million. For Town of Southampton residents in the district, the turf bond will raise taxes $2 a year per $100,000 of assessed value. For school district residents living in the Town of East Hampton, taxes will go up $2.26 a year per $100,000.

With both approved, the increases will be $12 a year and about $12.58 a year for Southampton and East Hampton residents, respectively, per $100,000 of assessed home value. A tax bill on a $1 million home will go up $120 a year in Southampton and $125.80 a year in East Hampton.

Work will begin in the fall of 2014 and will be completed by the fall of 2016.

Fifty-three absentee ballots were cast among the 1,109 total votes.

School Board member Daniel Hartnett said the vote would help “bring Pierson into a new era. The irony is, if these bonds were defeated, the work was going to happen, but programs and sports teams would be cut. Now, that simply won’t have to happen.”

Interim superintendent Dr. Carl Bonuso also was elated by the news.

“This is the first day of a bright future,” he said. “A beautiful history will now be followed by just a beautiful future thanks to a great many people working in collaboration, participating in the voting and offering their perspectives and expertise so that the children of this community will have the facilities they so very much need and deserve.”

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