Featured Story
04/21/17 6:00am

After nearly three years without a contract, the Mattituck Board of Education and Mattituck-Cutchogue Teachers Association have reached an agreement.

Approved unanimously Wednesday evening, the nine-year contract retroactively covers the 2014-15 school year and extends through June 2023, school board vice president Charles Anderson said.

“We’re very happy about it,” school board president Laura Jens-Smith said in a telephone interview prior to the meeting.

In the 2017-18 academic year, there will be a one percent increase on all frozen steps. Over the following three school years there will be both a one percent increase on all frozen steps and a 0.5 percent increase on all other steps.

All steps will receive a 0.5 percent increase in the final two years of the deal, according to Mr. Anderson.

 

Additionally, teachers agreed to contribute 1 percent more to health coverage for three consecutive years beginning in the 2018-19 school year, so by the end of 2021 they will contribute 18 percent, he said. They also agreed to switch dental insurance plans, saving the district money and putting teachers, administrators and CSEA employees all under the same plan.

One of the most beneficial parts of the new contract, however, isn’t financial, Mr. Anderson added.

“One thing we really like is teachers at the high school have agreed to be available for extra help four days a week,” he said. “It was difficult before to have only two days a week. Let’s say someone needed help in math and science and they were both on Monday night, they had to make a choice. Now that they have a choice of Monday or Wednesday, or however we set it up, they’ll be able to get help in every subject.”

He acknowledged the lengthy negotiation process, calling it “arduous and frustrating,” but commended the board and teacher’s union for respectfully working together.

“I think we came up with a solid contract that benefits everyone and I want to thank the MCTA and thank the rest of the board and I think it’ll be very good going forward,” Mr. Anderson said.  

Photo Caption: Mattituck Board of Education vice president Charles Anderson at Thursday’s meeting (Credit: Nicole Smith).

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Featured Story
04/21/17 5:58am

In an attempt to address the concerns of the Greenport Village Planning Board, the developers behind a proposed hotel on the corner of Front and Third streets have agreed to make adjustments to their existing plans.

Those changes include adding planters and trees to improve the landscaping, widening a delivery ramp and rerouting the loading zone to the east on the property.

“It looks like you made all changes we requested,” said Planning Board chairman Devin McMahon, who offered support for the proposal and said it will likely be voted on at the board’s May 4 meeting. “I think this layout makes a little more sense.”

Additionally, the Planning Board discussed setting restrictions on use of a proposed rooftop bar. Dan Pennessi of SAKD Holdings, the company behind the proposal, said that space would only be open to hotel guests.

A 60-seat restaurant would be on the ground level of the proposed building and 16 hotel rooms would be located on a second and third level.

Originally proposed in Nov. 2015, the building plans received numerous variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals this past December.

The proposed building, which would sit at the southeast corner of Front and Third streets, had six variances approved and moved forward with just 10 off-street parking spaces rather than the 30 required under the village code.

The other five variances approved by the ZBA in December included a request to allow a third story on the building, for lot coverage 1.6 percent over the code limit, and building height variances to allow for an air conditioning unit, elevator bulkhead and a trellis above the 35-foot maximum allowed under the code.

Neighboring businesses raised concerns that hotel guests would park in their lots since the proposal doesn’t include adequate parking and sits on less than a third of an acre.

Mr. Pennessi said at a March Planning Board meeting that they’ve shrunk the proposed building by about 1,000 square feet in response to these concerns, and that a traffic study done for the project indicated it will have little impact on traffic and parking.

Photo Caption: Dan Pennessi, president of SAKD Holdings, at Thursday’s planning board meeting (Credit: Nicole Smith).

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Featured Story
04/19/17 12:34pm

Next month, residents in the New Suffolk school district will be asked to approve a $1.1 million budget that attempts to pierce the tax levy cap with a 6 percent increase.

That amount equals a $25,000 spending increase and is nearly double the district’s allowable tax levy limit of 3.4 percent, school board president Tony Dill said, noting that six additional students have moved into the district.

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