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Riverhead school board approves $199K repair reserve fund proposal

As required by a $7.5 million repair reserve fund authorized by district voters in May, public hearings were held Tuesday in order to use that money for specific projects.

In this case, the projects were $72,230 for repairs to the Roanoke Avenue School playground, where equipment is broken and the safety surface needs repair; and $127,000 for exhaust fans at the Riley Avenue school, which have been there since the school was built. Both were approved Tuesday but some concerns where raised.

The definition of repair, according to deputy superintendent Sam Schneider, is to fix something that has decayed, deteriorated, weathered or become broken, torn or inoperable.

The district has about $1.8 million remaining in the fund, he said.

Both Yolanda Thompson and Greg Fischer — who both ran for the school board last May — questioned how the board could have authorized the expenditure of $698,000 from repair reserves on Sept. 5 to demolish the old school bus barn.

They said that work doesn’t fit the description of repair that Mr. Schneider gave at Tuesday’s meeting, and Mr. Fischer said he will file a notice of claim — a precursor to a lawsuit — stating this money was “misappropriated.”

Mr. Meyer said the board already had that hearing at a prior meeting and the hearings on Tuesday dealt with the Roanoke Avenue School playground and the Riley Avenue school exhaust fans.

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File photo: Riley Avenue Elementary School. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)