Oak Bay covers crossing guards cost for area schools

Council supports Beacon Community Services' provision of two crossing guards at Willows

Oak Bay will pay for crossing guards to get kids safely to École Willows Elementary.

Council had already authorized $7,200 in this year’s budget for Beacon Community Services to provide two school crossing guards. The cost of the program for the 2016/17 school year is estimated to be $9,360 based on two guards at Willows school.

BCS sought an increase for the 2016/2017 school year after the budget because their year-ends are out of sync with district timelines.

“Council was supportive of this addition and view the crossing guard services as an important service for our community,” said Tara Ney, acting mayor for the May 24 meeting where the funds were approved. “We all want to ensure that all of our children arrive to school safely and this service helps to safely negotiate traffic while teaching good pedestrian habits.”

Council afforded BCS the extra $864 out of unallocated grant funds for the crossing guard services at local schools in the morning and after school.

BCS shifted from a $10 a shift stipend for volunteer crossing guards to employees receiving minimum wage. BCS absorbed this extra cost for the 2015/16 school year and other excess costs. The additional funding would cover the full cost of the program in Oak Bay with two crossing guards throughout the school year both in the morning and afternoon.