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Red Hill Council Considers Crossing Guard Question
Written by Candace Perry, Correspondent
2019-09-25

            Upper Perkiomen School Board Vice President Mike Elliot heard some strong opinions on Montgomery Avenue safety at the Red Hill Borough Council meeting on Tuesday, September 24.

            Council member Liz DeJesus presented her findings on the best way to potentially manage crossing guards for the middle school and high school, illustrated by a map of where the guards will be located. At this time no crossing guards will be stationed in Red Hill itself, but it does not stop the council members from having a stake in the matter.

            At this month's earlier meeting, the council had passed a motion handing over the responsibility to the school district, with Upper Hanover following suit and Pennsburg reaching a consensus.

            By making an official motion, the municipalities also hand over the costs to the school district. The Red Hill council, however, is committed to contributing to the costs of the guards.

            DeJesus determined that the best course of action would be to contract with a company that would be responsible for the management of the crossing guards throughout the district. Costs start at $10,746 for one guard. The member presented an estimate from a California company, All City Management Services to manage up to five crossing guards at a cost not to exceed $53,730. According to DeJesus, the district would be responsible for 50 percent of the cost, while Pennsburg, Red Hill and Upper Hanover would cover the rest.

            On Wednesday morning, DeJesus described the arrangement as cost effective for her borough. She said Red Hill would save money by contracting with All City to handle issues such as payroll, insurance, unemployment insurance, training, liability and security for the guards.

            Following DeJesus' presentation and a discussion of concerns over the current situation on Montgomery Avenue during drop off and pick up, where a couple of school district employees and one crossing guard are managing traffic and students, council member Donna Paul stated that what is presently being done is "not good enough."

            "This to me is a major safety issue," Paul said, and that the district is   "putting school district employees in positions they should never be in."

            She continued "The school district needs to be responsible and come up with something better than this" and further noted that it has to happen immediately.

            DeJesus said it's "mind blowing that the board and administration isn't more concerned about this," and that Red Hill "has not been prioritized."

            She also stated her concerns about handing the situation over to the school district. "I am 100% not in favor of turning this over to them."

            "I am not confident," she added and that school district is "motivated financially."

            The council decided to let their previous motion stand, however, and add to a letter that will be sent to the school district that the borough will contribute funds to the hiring of the guards.  The school board meets Thursday.

            In zoning news, the borough council voted to send a letter of recommendation to the zoning hearing board for the application for zoning relief for 400 Main Street. The developer seeks to turn the building into apartments.

Additional reporting by Brad Schlegel Staff Writer


 

 

 

 

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