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Delta reinstates cut crossing guards

Council wondering why removal of crossing guards seen as warranted
crossing guards
School crossing guards at Richardson and South Park elementary schools will be reinstated. Delta Optimist file

City council this week approved revising the school adult crossing guard program to reinstate two guards that had been previously cut.

In October, council approved an interim grant of $103,456 to the school district for the 2020/2021 Adult School Crossing Guard Program to deploy 25 adult guards throughout Delta.

However, the decision by the school district to remove one guard each from Richardson Elementary for the crosswalk at 112th Street at 83rd Avenue, as well as South Park Elementary for the 8A Avenue at Gilchrist Drive crosswalk, drew concern from council.

“I do not support reducing crossing guards. Traffic is increasing, our population is increasing. Our police chief tells us regularly that he’s never seen speeds higher than they are right now, so, I have a lot of problems with this report, too,” Mayor George Harvie said at that earlier council meeting.

The district was subsequently told at a School Board/Council Liaison committee meeting that the city would provide additional dollars to keep those two guard positions.

A staff report notes a surplus budget is available from the 2019/2020 adult school crossing guard budget due to the shortened school year.

The city will be adjusting the operating budget for future years to accommodate the additional adult school crossing guards.

Delta police will be asked for analysis and recommendations at the next liaison committee meeting.

Delta assumed funding for the crossing guard program in 1999 and the annual cost has been in the $100,000 range.

Delta’s engineering department and a technical committee, which includes school board representatives, reviews sites on an annual basis and makes adjustments. The liaison committee also reviews the program and makes the recommendations to council.