Barrington approves pay hikes for crossing guards

Barrington trustees approved pay hikes Monday for crossing guards who monitor railroad crossings and other intersections in town.

The raises — from $16 to $20 an hour — are among village officials’ response to the death of 17-year-old Barrington High School student Marin Lacson, who was fatally struck by a Metra train Jan. 25 while walking to classes that morning.

The village also has increased police presence at train crossings and installed more signs at pedestrian crossings. Officials also plan rail safety educational programs for students and are working with the Illinois Commerce Commission and the Illinois Department of Transportation to determine if pedestrian gates are an option at some crossings.

The pay hikes also follow the board’s action last month to amend the village’s contract with guard provider Andy Frain to add monitors at four additional crossings: Main Street and the Canadian National tracks near Barrington High; Main and Cook streets; Hough Street and the Union Pacific tracks; and Route 14 and Hillside Avenue.

Both moves had been sought by the Barrington Student Safety Organization, a volunteer group that had been serving as crossing guards at rail crossings since Marin’s death.

Organization founder Roma Khan said the pay hike is needed to recruit additional guards.

“I have spoken with their lead supervisor, and they have all expressed that a rate (increase) would make a big difference,” she said.

Trustee Todd Sholeen thanked the organization and its volunteers for stepping in to help when needed.

“I would like to express my appreciation for all that Roma has done for addressing this issue of the railroad crossings within our community,” Sholeen said.

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