80.1 F
The Villages
Friday, June 21, 2024

Officials reject plan for crossing guards at Charter School at Middleton

Wildwood commissioners again rejected a plan to provide crossing guards for The Villages Charter Schools in the Middleton neighborhood at a special meeting Monday. 

The proposal lost on a 3-2 vote but could be revived if Sumter County or the county school district are willing foot a portion of the cost.

Police Chief Randy Parmer estimated it would cost about $176,268 to provide 14 crossing guards as well as two alternates. Guards also would be provided for Wildwood schools.

The cost includes pay of $15 an hour plus contributions to the Florida Retirement System and $3,200 in equipment. Free training is provided by the Florida Department of Transportation.

“It provides a safe, secure way for our children to get to school,” Parmer said. 

He said the cost could rise another $100,000 when more sidewalks are built in Middleton. 

Commissioners rejected funding the program last summer about two weeks before the school year began.

At Monday’s meeting, Mayor Ed Wolf said it’s unfair for Wildwood residents to bear the entire program cost. An estimated 75 percent of Wildwood residents are childless, live in The Villages and already pay school taxes. 

Wolf said both the county and the school district collect more taxes than Wildwood. 

“Maybe the funding of this could be shared,” he said. “We don’t have a lot left in the tax dollar that isn’t appropriated.” 

Commissioner Julian Green said the county supplies school resource officers and could expand that program to include crossing guards. 

As the city grows, it may have to take on more responsibilities, said Commissioner Joe Elliott. 

“It is the responsibility of the city to provide this service to the schools,” he said. 

Voting to reject the program were Wolf, Green and Commissioner Pamala Harrison-Bivens while Elliott and Commissioner Marcos Flores supported it.

City Manager Jason McHugh said he will contact school district officials to see if they are willing to participate in the program.

Developer needs to tell residents what is happening at Spanish Springs

A Village of Orange Blossom Gardens, in a Letter to the Editor, says the Developer should inform residents about what is going on at Spanish Springs Town Square.

Only sheep need a shepherd

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of St. Charles resident offers a rebuttal to a letter writer who suggested our president needs to be a “good shepherd.”

Villages-News.com should be ashamed of right-wing stance

A Village of Pennecamp resident argues that Villages-News.com should be ashamed of its right-wing stance. Read her Letter to the Editor.

Trump flags are a violent threat to America

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Tall Trees resident contends that Trump flags are a violent threat to America.

How do we address lack of faith in Supreme Court?

How do we address the lack of faith in the U.S. Supreme Court? A Village of Sanibel resident has some suggestions in a Letter to the Editor.