The final cost for four crossing guards in Springwater Township has come in at less than half the original estimate.

Council approved the crossing guards’ wage and hours of service on Wednesday night at their regular council meeting at the township’s administration centre in Midhurst.

Council voted to pay the guards between $23.65 and $27.66 per hour (known as pay band one of the non-union/management salary grid) and have them on duty before and after school. 

The other option was a $33-per-hour wage and have them on duty before and after school and over the lunch hour. 

Based on research conducted by the township, it was discovered most pupils at the schools affected are not allowed to leave their school at lunch, so there was no need for a crossing guard during that time.

Based on council’s decision, the township will spend $50,231 annually. The other option had a price tag of $110,314.

The township also approved a stand-by rate of $10 per day.

“The intent of the stand-by rate is to guarantee, as much as possible, replacement coverage for one of the crossing locations should there be a sick call or time off scheduled,” explained clerk Renee Ainsworth. “With the nature of the work, being out in the elements and around school children through their entire shift, there’s a lot more sick time required.”

Additionally, Ainsworth noted, “once there is a crossing established, the township gets into a real issue with liability if there’s no coverage.”

The clerk told council she believes there are one or two employees who are willing to be on-call on a weekly rotating basis.

At the Aug. 2 council meeting, it was decided that a crossing guard would be reinstated at one location in Hillsdale and crossing guards would be implemented at three new locations.

The corner of Penetanguishene Road and Albert Street in Hillsdale has been reinstated after being eliminated in June. 

Yonge Street South-Houden Street and Queen Street East-Simcoe Street in Elmvale, as well as Finlay Mill Road-Belmont Crescent in Midhurst, are new.

By Wayne Doyle, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Sep 08, 2023 at 05:53

This item reprinted with permission from   BarrieToday   Barrie, Ontario

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