Elkhart discusses who will fund school crossing guards

NOW: Elkhart discusses who will fund school crossing guards

ELKHART, Ind.—The common council held a joint work session with the school corporation on Thursday to discuss who will fund the school’s crossing guards.

The school, Mayor Tim Neese, and the police department are asking the city council to appropriate $62,000 from the general fund to fund school crossing guards.

Several crossing guards also showed up to the work session. Including employee of three years Eugene Broadnax.

“We are sometimes the first adult face they see besides their parents in the morning. We give them a hello, we give them a smile. We have to step in front of traffic before they do. With the absence of crossing guards there would probably be a kid hit every single day. We don’t really take this as a job. We take it as a commitment and as a responsibility,” says Broadnax.

The $62,000 would pay for the guards through the rest of 2017. The school will need an additional $220,000 for 2018.

Some council members think it should be the school’s responsibility to pay for the guards.

Others, like 4th District Councilman Dwight Fish, say the city has the funds to pay for it and should since it’s a public safety issue.

“As a taxing authority I know the responsibility of what this city should be doing and that’s taking care of  this expense. The police like it, the mayor has proposed it and put it in his budget, its real simple. We need to do our job and it’s what the citizens want us to do and that’s fully fund the crossing guards in Elkhart,” says Fish.

A special finance committee meeting will be scheduled  for a final vote. There will be an opportunity public comment ahead of the vote. When it is scheduled, we will pass along the information.

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