The Seaford Board of Education voted at its meeting Thursday night to pay a $30,000 fee imposed on the district by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for disposing hazardous waste while cleaning up the high school’s former rifle range in the summer of 2009.
Seaford district officials had tried appealing the fee but reported Thursday night that all legal options had been exhausted. Seaford Superintendent of Schools Brian Conboy said State Sen. Charles Fuschillo, R-Merrick, has offered to take care of any charges the district incurred from delaying payment while appealing the fee. The $30,000 fee will be paid using leftover funds from a $21.5 million capital improvements bond approved by voters on Dec. 4, 2007.
"We've exhausted all avenues," said Seaford Board of Education president Brian Fagan just before he and the three other trustees at Thursday night's meeting at voted unanimously to pay the $30,000 fee.
The DEC fee stems from the district converting the former rifle range into a wrestling practice room when 106.8 tons of lead sand were composed. When the project was undertaken, it was considered to be a large quantity generator of hazardous waste, according to district officials. State legislation, known as the Environmental Conservation Law, was amended in 2010, and the change would have affected the school district if the clean-up had occurred before the effective date.
The range had been closed for two decades and was last used when Seaford High School had a rifle team.