Greeley roadway mitigations money from Summit Greenfield may not be enough, says Board of Ed

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Editor’s Note: Last Wednesday Board of Ed members discussed a draft letter to the Town Board stating that the Board of Ed will not pass on cost overruns if Summit Greenfield’s $600,000 for proposed changes to Greeley’s interior roadways proves insufficient.  The letter is below:

Letter to Town re: SG Entrance to Greeley March 11, 2015

Dear Supervisor Greenstein and members of the Town Board:

We, the members of the Chappaqua Central School District Board of Education, are writing to express our extreme displeasure with the proposed financing of a portion of the overall development plan for the Summit Greenfield/Chappaqua Crossing property.

As you know, part of the plan for the 120-acre site includes the reconfiguration of the entryway to the Education Center/Horace Greeley High School off Roaring Brook Road into a multi-lane intersection. Also included is the relocation of the proposed sidewalk and crosswalk from the east side to west side along the Chappaqua Crossing southern entry drive and at the intersection of the Education Center/Horace Greeley High School and Roaring Brook Road to match a proposed sidewalk relocation on the school district’s property on the south side of Roaring Brook Road.

We have closely monitored the evolution of re-development proposals for Chappaqua Crossing since the property was purchased in 2004, and it always has been our understanding that any costs associated with any changes to Roaring Brook Road would be assumed by the developer. However, we have recently learned that a meager $600,000 has been allocated for the modifications detailed above, with the Chappaqua School District expected to be responsible for any costs over that budgeted amount. In essence, the District is now being asked to issue a blank check because we all know that $600,000 is an extremely conservative estimate (perhaps done on purpose to help make the project more appealing) and there are certain to be cost overruns, which are often synonymous with a construction project of this magnitude. Forcing the District, as a custodian of taxpayer dollars, to pay for anything that will benefit a private corporation is the definition of fiscal malfeasance and the Chappaqua Central School District will no longer stand down and allow this “bait and switch” regarding the funding of this portion of the project.

As the connector between the Saw Mill River Parkway and Route 117, Roaring Brook Road is already heavily-traveled and traffic congestion at the entrance to Horace Greeley High School will increase significantly when Chappaqua Crossing reopens for business. This will be especially true during morning drop-offs and afternoon pick-ups, and new and inexperienced drivers mixed with gridlock and traffic jams is a recipe for disaster.

If the site developer is permitted to make changes to Roaring Brook Road without also addressing the need to alleviate the increase in traffic—created by their project—at the entrance to Horace Greeley High School, they will be endangering the lives of students and all of those who travel this thoroughfare. We implore the Town Board to hold Summit Greenfield responsible for all costs associated with any changes made at the intersection of the Education Center/Horace Greeley High School and Roaring Brook Road and its immediate proximity.

Sincerely,

Members of the Chappaqua Central School District Board of Education

Board of Ed discussion of Summit Greenfield’s offer of $600,000 for Greeley roadway “mitigations” begins at the 2 hour mark and runs until 2 hours 12 minutes.

CCSD Board of Education Meeting 3/11/15 from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.

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