MARSDEN STREET PROPERTIES VOTE

Marsden Vote

Dear Sag Harbor Schools Community:

The results of the school district vote addressing Proposition #1- Purchase of Marsden Properties, are as follows:

Yes - 638

No -  521

Thank you to the community for coming out to vote today.

Sincerely,

Jeff Nichols
Superintendent of Schools
Sag Harbor Union Free School District
200 Jermain Avenue
(631) 725-5302

Purchase of Marsden Street Properties Vote

Thursday, November 3, 2022

in the Pierson High School Gym 

between the hours of 7:00 am –9:00 pm 

Absentee Ballot Applications will be obtainable beginning on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 when school is in session between the hours of 8:00 am - 2:00 pm from the District Clerk, located at Pierson Middle/High School, 200 Jermain Avenue, Sag Harbor, or from the Substitute District Clerk, located at the Sag Harbor Learning Center, 135 Division Street, Sag Harbor.

Completed applications must be received by the District Clerk or Substitute District Clerk at least seven (7) days before the Special District Meeting, by October 27, 2022, if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter, or the day before the Special District Meeting, by November 2, 2022, if the ballot is to be delivered personally to the voter.

Absentee ballots must be received by the District Clerk no later than 5:00 p.m., prevailing time, on November 3, 2022. 

NOVEMBER 3 VOTE - MARSDEN LOTS ACQUISITION FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The Sag Harbor School District has received a number of questions regarding the proposed purchase of the Marsden Lots that are the subject of the November 3, 2022 vote. The School District has prepared this FAQ document in order to answer the most common questions.

If you have additional questions, do not hesitate to email Superintendent Nichols (jnichols@sagharborschools.org) or the Board of Education, and if the answer to that question is of a nature that would benefit the broader community, the School District will endeavor to update the web page with additional FAQs.

What is the purpose of the November 3, 2022 vote?

The Sag Harbor community is being asked to vote on whether the School District should be authorized to purchase the properties located at 7, 9, 11, 12, and 15 Marsden Street. The total purchase price of the combined properties is $9.325 million, based on a set of contracts negotiated amongst the seller, the School District, and the Town of Southampton Community Preservation Fund (the CPF). The contracts provide that the CPF would contribute $6 million towards the purchase price of 4 of the lots. The School District would purchase the lot on 12 Marsden Street on its own for $700,000. The School District would also contribute $2,575,000 towards the purchase price of the other four lots. The total contribution by the School District of $3,275,000 (plus an additional $50,000 for closing and settlement costs) would be sourced from the District’s existing capital reserve fund. To access those monies for that purpose, the School District is required to hold a vote. No additional taxes are being levied in connection with the November 3rd vote.

What is the wording of the ballot proposition for the November 3, 2022 vote?

Voters are being asked to vote on the following proposition, as approved by the Board of Education at its September 6, 2022 meeting:

Shall the Board of Education of the Sag Harbor Union Free School District be authorized to (i) purchase the property located at 12 Marsden Street, Sag Harbor, New York 11963 from Marsden Street Property LLC at a purchase price of $700,000.00; (ii) purchase the properties located at 7, 9, 11 and 15 Marsden Street, Sag Harbor, New York 11963 jointly with the Town of Southampton from Marsden Street Property LLC, with the School District’s portion of the purchase price being $2,575,000.00; and (iii) expend up to $3,325,000 from the District’s existing capital reserve fund known as the Facilities Improvement Capital Reserve Fund for the acquisition of the properties 7, 9, 11, 12 and 15 Marsden Street, Sag Harbor, New York 11963, including the purchase price as well as other costs and fees related to such acquisition.

When did the School District first publicize the potential acquisition of the Marsden Lots?

The District first publicly announced the potential to purchase the Marsden Lots at the September 6, 2022 Board of Education Meeting. The agenda and minutes for that meeting can be found on Board Docs (which can be accessed via the School District website). 

Why did the School District keep the negotiations for the property confidential until the date it was publicized?

Per the New York State Open Meetings Law, negotiations to purchase real property may be kept confidential.  The CPF led the negotiation to purchase the lots, and doing so privately allowed for the best chances that a deal would be reached without other buyers driving the purchase price up. Once the form of contract and purchase price were finalized, the School Board publicized the potential purchase.

If the Marsden Lots are purchased, what will they become?

The Marsden Lots that are being purchased with CPF funds are restricted by the covenants and restrictions imposed by the CPF. As a result, those lots may be used for recreation or such other uses as prescribed by the CPF. The one lot that would be purchased by the School District without CPF funds would not be subject to any CPF deed restrictions or covenants.

Is the School District planning to use synthetic turf on a field to be developed on the Marsden Lots?

The surface and final design of any field that would be planned for the Marsden Lots has not yet been decided. The School District acknowledges the community’s 2016 vote regarding the Pierson back field and is sensitive to community concerns regarding turf. We plan to seek community input regarding the type of surface that would be appropriate for the Marsden Lots. The Board of Education is open to exploring natural grass surfaces, hybrid surfaces, turf surfaces, and other options suggested by the community. 

What additional votes will be necessary if the November 3 vote passes?

If the November 3 vote passes, the Town Board of the Town of Southampton will still need to approve the CPF use of funds for the purchase. If that happens, then the School District will solicit community input with respect to the design, surface type, and other elements of the project. The community input may take any of the following forms: town hall meetings, surveys, board of education meetings, etc. Once the design has been determined, a subsequent Sag Harbor community vote will be held to approve that bond project.  

Are the Marsden Lots on wetlands?

No. The SEQRA report determined that there are no wetlands and that report will be posted to the School District Website when finalized.  

What environmental impact reviews has the School District been required to do on the Marsden Lots?

The School District had a Phase 1 study done, which has been posted to the School Website. A Phase II study is currently underway.

How will the purchase of the Marsden Lots impact the School’s need to utilize Mashashimuet Park?

The School District will continue to rely on Mashashimuet Park for certain athletic needs.

How and in what manner did the School District provide requisite notice regarding the November 3 vote?

The official notice to the community regarding the November 3 vote was published in the Southampton Press/Eastern Edition, and the Sag Harbor Express on September 15, September 29, October 13, and October 27 (forthcoming).

 What is the School District planning to do to address the concerns of the neighbors abutting the Marsden Lots?

The School District is sensitive to the concerns of neighbors and will take steps to minimize adverse impacts such as including tree buffers and placing the fields as far away from neighboring homes as practicable. 

 If the November 3 vote passes, what are the next steps?

If the November 3 vote passes, the School District will then seek community input on the design, layout, surface, and other matters. Community input will be solicited via surveys and meetings. Once a final design has been determined, another community vote will be required to approve the bond project funding the capital improvements. 

 If the November 3 vote does not pass, what will happen to the Marsden Lots?

 If the November 3 vote does not pass, the Marsden Lots are zoned residential. As a result, the seller is free to sell to one or multiple buyers, who may decide to build houses or other residential structures on that land.