Sag Harbor residents angry with school district's proposed athletic facility
Some Sag Harbor residents are frustrated with the school district's proposal to build an athletic facility in their neighborhood.
Opponents of the Sag Harbor Union Free School District's proposal formed the Citizens of Sag Harbor group and say it will ruin the character of the village and the quality of life.
"We love the historic character of Sag Harbor, and we want to maintain that character," says Raymond Pepi.
The proposal would turn a 4-acre wooded piece of land on Marsden Street into an athletic facility.
Citizens of Sag Harbor say the toxins in the artificial turf that would be used for the field would be hazardous to the environment and residents' health.
"These are chemicals that do not degrade or decompose," Pepi says. "If you ingest them, they stay in your body. If they run off into the environment, they stay in the environment."
Under the district's proposal, purchase of the land would be paid for in part by the school district's facilities improvement capital reserve fund
The rest would come from Southampton Town's Community Preservation Fund.
Opponents say they also object to Southampton spending money intended for land preservation on helping the school district turn this piece of land into a sports facility.
Taxpayers voted on the proposal Thursday at Pierson High School.
School Superintendent Jeff Nichols said he will comment on the proposal after the vote.
Pepi says even if the proposal passes this part of the process - he and other neighbors will keep fighting.
If voters approve the proposal, the district still needs the town board's approval to use money from the Community Preservation Fund for the project.