The DeKalb County Commission Monday night voted 12-2 to participate in a partnership with the City of Smithville and the school system to appropriate up to three thousand dollars a year toward the cost of hiring someone to direct traffic in the school zone at Northside Elementary. First district commissioners Elmer Ellis, Jr. and Mason Carter voted against the proposal
The Smithville Aldermen voted to make the same $3,000 appropriation earlier this month with the understanding that the county and school board would each fund one third of the costs as well.
Several county and city officials held an informal meeting at the courthouse a few weeks ago to discuss the plan which calls for the County, the City of Smithville, and the Board of Education to share in the cost of funding the position of one crossing guard or officer to direct traffic in the mornings and afternoons for a total of approximately four hours a day, Monday through Friday, in the school zone at Northside Elementary School. County Mayor Mike Foster said the cost is estimated to be eight to nine thousand dollars per year, which could be split equally between the county, city, and school system.
During Monday night's county commission meeting, seventh district member Jimmy Poss said he recently discussed the issue with Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger who mentioned that
a plan could be worked out to have someone directing traffic at both Northside Elementary and at DeKalb County High School each day, using the same amount of time and money. According to Chief Caplinger, Poss said instead of paying one person to spend four hours per day at Northside Elementary School (two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon), two people could be hired, one for Northside Elementary and one for DeKalb County High School each to direct traffic for two hours per day (one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon).
The school board has not yet taken up the proposal.