U-46 won't reimburse Carol Stream for crossing guard costs

 
 
Updated 8/3/2011 5:38 AM

Elgin Area School District U-46 has told Carol Stream officials that it's no longer going to reimburse the village for the cost of two crossing guards near an elementary school.

But the village can't afford the cost either, officials said.

 

That means two intersections near Spring Trail Elementary School in the northwest corner of Carol Stream won't be staffed with crossing guards this fall. Village officials announced this week that they plan to terminate a contract with Andy Frain Services for the crossing guards.

The guards have been stationed at the intersections of Georgetown and Spring Valley drives, and Woodlake Drive and Boa Trail.

A July 12 letter from John Heiderscheidt, U-46's coordinator of school safety and security, to Carol Stream Police Chief Kevin Orr, stated that the district isn't going to fund the crossing guards anymore.

Village Manager Joe Breinig said he's contacted U-46 officials to get an explanation for the district's "terse, abrupt approach," but he hasn't gotten any answers.

"I'm frankly at a loss to understand where this is coming from, other than to assume it's a money problem," Breinig said.

Last week, the district announced it was reducing the number of bus stops for high school students in response to state funding cuts for transportation.

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Tony Sanders, U-46 Superintendent Jose Torres' chief of staff, said Carol Stream is the only municipality out of the 11 within the district that asks for reimbursement. He said the district has previously given indication that the arrangement would be ending.

The district paid the village $6,465 for the two crossing guards this fiscal year, and $7,105 last year.

The village's contract with Andy Frain also covers crossing guards for schools in Carol Stream School District 93, which also reimburses the village for the costs. District 93 paid the village $112,481 for crossing guards this year, and $110,230 the year before.

Should the village pay for the crossing guards for U-46, it's likely District 93 would make a similar request, Breinig said.

Benjamin School District 25 provides its own crossing guards, but it might also seek village reimbursement if available, he said.

At Monday's village board meeting, Trustee Matt McCarthy said that while the U-46 cost for crossing guards may not be a lot, the overall amount the village could pay for all guards in town is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"At some point or another, other schools districts will ask us to act in-kind," McCarthy said. "We can't be another governing body's bank."

At a time when full-time staffing in the police department has been reduced, and the department's budget is about $1 million less next year, Breinig said the village isn't in a position to accept the additional cost of the crossing guards.

"I don't really believe the village is in a position ... but this is a U-46 decision of their priorities and where they should spend money," Breinig said.

The village's contract with Andy Frain requires a 30-day notice for cancellation.

Officials from the village and U-46 have said they would let residents know of the change.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

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