Dundee discusses school entrance area
Ed. Note - An incorrect version of this story was published online Tuesday evening, Oct. 24. The story did not match what was printed in the newspaper. The story has been updated to correct the problem.
DUNDEE--The Dundee school board met Thursday, Oct. 19 at Dundee Central School to discuss the issues facing them regarding the sale of a strip of land along the edge of the property to alleviate traffic and pedestrian problems at the entrance to the school.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has asked for land from the school district in order to construct a raised sidewalk. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has stated that to resolve the vehicular and pedestrian traffic entering the school, a 140 foot sidewalk needs to be put in place. Students frequently visit the Dandy Mart or commute to school by foot across the intersection. This causes traffic problems with many cars filling Water Street and Millard Street as well as the ongoing threat of a possible accident with many students crossing the road to enter the school.
Superintendent Kelly Houck handed members of the board a map proposal illustrating the property lines between the Dundee Central School and Dandy Mart.
Houck said, "The piece of land is 40 foot wide and 144 feet deep. From the driveway to the fence, along the lower parking lot across from the softball field --basically what they want to do is take the entire building and shift it back 30 feet. DOT is requiring a raised sidewalk in front of the building and to close off the current entryways in front of the building. Without moving the building, cars would not be able to enter the parking lot and make the swing onto [Water] Street once the raised sidewalk is put in place along the front. We don't want to do anything to impede their normal business. I understand it but this would be space they can no longer utilize for their business once those entrances are closed by the new sidewalk."
The school board is waiting for a response to their conveyance request, which covers the sale of the strip of property in question, the construction of a privacy fence on the back-line of the property and the coverage of fees (from appraisal to install).
The final word will come from voters.
Houck explained, "The process to do the conveyance--the board would have to adopt a resolution and obtain a state environmental quality review (SEQR) that says you are going to convey this land. We couldn't close until after the 30 days is completed. During those 30 days, if 10 percent of all eligible voters in the district petition to have it put up for referendum--that gives everyone the opportunity to weigh in on this decision. At the end of the 30 days, we could execute the purchase contract and declare the property as not meant for school anymore and accept their cash payment."
The board then turned to the ongoing conversation on options to merge with the Penn Yan Central School district. They have reached a decision. Board members in both Dundee and Penn Yan have decided to end all talks on this subject.
"Creating and sustaining opportunities for our students has been the sole premise behind the joint board of education meetings and the community, staff and student surveys that the Dundee Central School has participated in," Houck explained. "The joint board of education meetings have allowed us to reflect on current offerings and experiences that are available to our students and generate ideas and thoughts about collaborating with other districts to enhance and sustain these. The surveys provided feedback and information from our community, staff and students about their own thoughts, beliefs and areas of focus for DCS. It is evident through all the surveys received, that DCS stakeholders are invested in our school, in our community and committed to creating an educational journey for our students that leads to a successful future regardless of what pathway a student chooses."
She continued, "DCS will continue to be involved in two different committees that will have ongoing conversations of ways to enhance, create and sustain student opportunities through collaboration, however, at this time, we have decided to end any conversations of exploring a possible merger."
The next school board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 9, 2017.