This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make Sag Harbor an even better place to live, work, and raise a family. For less than the cost of a cup of coffee, you can make it happen. Vote YES for Marsden on May 16th.  You can call Mary Adamczyk at the school at 631 725-5300 to confirm your registration, or mail an absentee ballot.

FACTS. Marsden Property - Proposition #2 

Dear Sag Harbor Community:

On May 16, 2023, the School District will hold its annual vote regarding the budget, board of education, and several propositions. Unfortunately, there has been significant spread of misinformation regarding the ballot proposition on the Marsden lots (Proposition #2).  The purpose of this communication is to publicize accurate information so that residents can render their votes based on facts.

What is Proposition #2?

On May 16, Proposition #2 will ask residents to vote on a $9.425 million proposal to purchase real property located at 7, 9, 11, 12, and 15 Marsden Street, Sag Harbor, New York. If approved, $3.425 million from the Facilities Improvement Capital Reserve Fund would be utilized, with the remaining $6 million to be financed through a bond. If approved, the Marsden acquisition will cost less than $40 per household per year for a property appraised at $1,000,000.  The proposed property is adjacent to Pierson Middle/High School and presents an opportunity for the District to expand its footprint and address current and future facility needs.

If approved, what will the School District do with the Marsden Lots?

If Proposition #2 is approved, the School District will seek community input regarding the development of the Marsden Lots.  The School District’s Educational Facilities Planning Committee (EFPC) addresses current and future facility needs.  A list of facility needs will be shared with the community via surveys, community forums, and other means.  A few examples of facility needs that the EFPC has discussed recently include, but are not limited to: building a wet laboratory to expand Pierson’s science facilities; renovating or replacing the middle/high school gymnasium; and the addition of athletic fields.  Any additional funds that the District would require to develop the Marsden Lots further would require a separate community vote. 

What happened to the initial plan to partner with CPF?

In the Fall of 2022, the School District announced a planned partnership with the Town of Southampton’s Community Preservation Fund (CPF) to purchase the lots.  However, the Town Board never voted to approve the purchase on their end and continued to add requirements that the school district determined to be too restrictive and did not align with its facility needs.  After careful deliberation, the School District is now trying to purchase the property on its own through Proposition #2. 

Certain allegations regarding Wetlands, Toxins, and Endangered Species are Misleading.

There have been certain concerning allegations made on social media, online petitions, and other sources regarding the environmental conditions of the Marsden lots.  The Marsden lots are not located on wetlands and are zoned residential. The School District completed a Phase I and Phase 2 study, as well as a SEQRA analysis.  All environmental analyses of the Marsden lots that were conducted on behalf of the School District are posted on the district website.  If the district acquires the properties, any additional environmental studies required for development will be completed as legally required once development plans have been determined after input is sought from the community.  The safety of students and neighboring residents is of paramount importance to the School District and will continue to be taken into consideration as part of any future development of the Marsden properties.

What happens to the Marsden Lots if Proposition #2 Fails?

The School District can’t predict with any certainty how the Marsden lots will be developed if Proposition #2 fails.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, allegations made that the Marsden lots would be preserved by CPF are false.  The CPF and Southampton Town have confirmed that they have no plans to purchase this land should the voters not approve of the district acquiring the land.  In addition, the current owner has indicated that if Proposition #2 fails, he will move forward with plans to develop the properties into residential homes.

Allegations regarding a 72-car parking lot and/or costs beyond the amounts specified in Proposition #2 are false and misleading.

There is no 72-car parking lot planned for the 5th lot. The plan being circulated by some in the community was submitted to the Town of Southampton in response to a terms and conditions request memorandum that was sent to the district by the Town at the time that the CPF and the District were considering a joint purchase.   Now that the CPF is not partnering on the other 4 lots, the 72-car parking lot plan is no longer applicable to the 5th lot and the District is free to consider other uses.  In addition, cost estimates published by various community members regarding the development costs (such as alleged costs of $16+ million) are inaccurate and not applicable to Proposition #2.  The district is currently only asking the public to vote on the cost of the acquisition of the Marsden Lots as described above.

Perspective.Why Sag Harbor BOE needs more land