By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield Police Department would like to make a busy pedestrian intersection near Washington Elementary School safer and recently appealed to the Finance, Budget, and Personnel Committee during its Oct. 3 meeting to add a permanent crossing guard there.
“What we are looking to do is add an additional staff member to the crossing guard budget to cover a busy intersection that historically — that prior to the new Washington Elementary School construction — wasn’t needed,” said Marshfield Police Chief Rick Gramza. “This new position would be a full-time crossing guard position at the intersection of 11th (Street) and Lincoln (Avenue), which through meetings with Washington Elementary School has gotten to be quite a busy intersection for pedestrians and children to be crossing, and that is a busy road being right on Lincoln Avenue.
“We did some pedestrian counts early in the year, and on average there is 25 to 30 kids crossing at that intersection in the morning and the same — a little bit more actually, close to 30 — every afternoon when school lets out.”
Gramza said that the department ruled out eliminating a crossing guard at another intersection.
“At this point we are not willing to sacrifice any of those current intersections,” Gramza stated.
The police department is in charge of several budgets, and Gramza said that adjustments would have to be made to accommodate the added position.
“It wasn’t budgeted for 2017, and this didn’t come up in 2018 when we were creating our budget back in July. So if this is approved and there is any overages, we may need to look at the law budget to maybe transfer some funds or something,” Gramza explained.
The request was approved by the committee, and the matter will next go to the common council for approval.