Issuu on Google+ Vol. 15/Number 16 School district adopts budget, cuts three classes By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER If voters approve it in May, the Eastchester School District will have a roughly $75 million 20132014 budget with a tax levy increase of 3.7 percent. The district is yet to release the anticipated tax rate increase but officials said they have to wait on the town to come up with the number which likely won’t be available until the summer. Faced with a budgetary shortfall of roughly $666,000, the district has put forward a plan to eliminate three elementary school classes and two middle and high school afternoon buses. The budget, as stands, is a 3 percent increase over the current 2012-2013 budget and has changed only slightly since the Board of Education’s last meeting. The budget was adopted on April 9, To reduce costs by about $280,000, a class from each Eastchester elementary school will be eliminated in September. Following a decrease in enrollment, a first grade class will be eliminated at Waverly Elementary School. Two second grade classes at Waverly will have an increase in student enrollment of as many as 25 students, up from 20 this year. Third grade classes at Greenvale School would be increased to about 23 students. Eliminating two lightly-used afternoon buses for the middle and high school will save the district about $110,000. The district will also be using a federal grant to pay for a special education teacher’s salary next year, saving approximately $100,000. These reductions, among others, will help to bridge the budgetary gap. Eastchester Superintendent Marilyn Terranova said that these reductions will have the least effect possible on students and staff. “We’re pretty confident that this budget is the very best we could do,” she said. The district also received about $3.8 million in state high tax aid, an increase of $125,000 from the previous year. High tax aid is distributed to districts where the property tax burden is high compared to income. Low income districts BUDGET continued on page 13 Apartment project raises parking, flooding concerns By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER As Tuckahoe gears up for the construction of luxury apartments on Main Street, village residents are speaking out against parking and flooding issues that they say are being caused by the drawn-out process. The project, located on Main Street near Terrace Place, would add 108 housing units and 3,315 square feet of commercial space to the village but has seemed to stall since gaining approval last year. The applicant and owner of the property, McEquity LLC, was awarded an extension, by the village, to a special permit on April 12 in order to break ground, but some homeowners feel like construction Luxury apartments are scheduled to be built at 100 Main St. in Tuckahoe, but some residents have come forward and said the long-delayed project is causing parking and flooding issues in their neighborhoods. Photo/Ashley Helms is being held up for insufficient reasons. The special permit was granted to the applicant for certain Zoning Board variances including the number of parking spaces and the size of each individual parking space. The initial special permit was set to expire at midnight on April 12, just hours after the applicant petitioned the Zoning Board for an extension. The special permit extension was necessary in order for the applicant to submit building permit forms, which the village must receive before development officially kicks off. Leslie Maron, an attorney who represents McEquity LLC, says the applicant was unable to submit necessary building forms until April 12 because of inclement weather during the winter, but said that the project hasn’t been altered since it was approved on April 11, 2012. “The project, as is, remains unchanged,” Maron says. But village resident Viki Angelillo says that the project has, in fact, changed over the past year. She said trees and dirt have been removed from the construction site, which PROJECT continued on page 15 April 19, 2013 Town schools to install ID scanners The Eastchester School District displays poster boards dedicated to the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting before an April 15 candlelight vigil on the high school track. The vigil came shortly before a PTA meeting to discuss increases in school safety. Photo/Ashley Helms By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER In an effort to beef up security in Eastchester schools, the district is installing an identification scanner system between now and the fall to make sure registered sex offenders are not entering school buildings. The scanners are part of a greater reaction to the December massacre in Newtown, Conn. Once installed, the Raptor identification system works by scanning visitors’ driver licenses or government issued photo identification cards and checking them against sex offender databases. If a match is found, the system can alert school officials so they can take necessary measures. If a match isn’t found during the scanning process, Raptor will print a blue visitor’s badge that includes a photo, date of visit and destination within the building. Visitors will be required to enter the high school and middle school through a single point of entry on the high school side, with a monitor stationed in a booth near the door to see who is seeking entry. Since its inception in 2003, Texasbased Raptor Technologies has sold their software to 8,000 schools and community facilities nationwide. The system has identified over 10,000 registered sex offenders attempting to enter its clients’ buildings in the last 10 years, according to the company’s website. Speaking in front of the local parent-teacher association on April 15, Schools Superintendent Marilyn Terranova said that Raptor provides a reliable system to track visitors and volunteers while protecting students and staff from people who could hurt them. The superintendent said she hopes to have the system installed in the elementary schools by the beginning of the 2013-2014 SCANNERS continued on page 13 Winner of a 2012 NYPA award for Sports Feature

Town Report 4-19-13

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