School and Town Reach Tentative Bus Depot Deal

Buses lined up at the East Hampton School District's depot on Route 114, which the district leases. David E. Rattray

Members of the Cedar Street Committee, who have strongly opposed the East Hampton School Board’s plan to locate a school bus depot on their street, were encouraged Tuesday night by an unexpected bulletin from the board president, J.P. Foster.

“I am happy to report that I spoke with [Town Supervisor] Larry Cantwell and we have come up with a tentative agreement on the Springs-Fireplace Road property,” Mr. Foster announced.

An official announcement will be made as soon as all information is in place, he said, and a special board meeting will be held when the agreement is  finalized.

The few Cedar Street residents present at the meeting were visibly delighted by the news. One called it “a shot of adrenaline.”

Chuck Collins of Cedar Street, a regular at school board meetings, addressed the board: “I want to thank you all for your hard work. I know it hasn’t been easy, but we really appreciate the effort that has gone into this.”

Last week, the Cedar Street Committee, represented by Jeffrey Bragman, announced that it was willing to provide the necessary funds, possibly as much as $2 million, to help the school buy the town-owned plot of land, which is on a heavily industrial stretch of Springs-Fireplace.

Talks are underway with the Springs School Board about possibly sharing the new bus depot building and its services, including classroom space for vocational training. Richard Burns, the East Hampton School District superintendent, said that the only vocational school available for students here is in Riverhead. Getting there and back, he said, “is an ordeal.”