SCUGOG: The Township of Scugog will add a crossing guard back to a Port Perry location.

Ward 5 Councillor Lance Brown, at a meeting on Monday, January 27th, made a motion to have a crossing guard placed at the Simcoe Street and Reach Street intersections in Port Perry, for the morning and afternoon shifts.

This would be on a trial basis until June and staff would reassess the warrant for this guard during the trial and report back to council by the end of June.

The Region of Durham paid for a crossing guard at this location during the construction of this roadway. Construction was completed in late December at which point the Region stopped paying for the guard. Scugog staff did an analysis of the need for a crossing guard at that location and found the intersection no longer warranted it therefore the crossing guard was removed.

“What I’ve heard from residents is they were delighted to have one, and they don’t want it gone,” Councillor Brown explained, at the meeting. In December, Carol Coleman, Scugog’s Director of Public Works, Parks and Recreation, explained in an email to The Standard why the guard was removed. “Staff have undertaken counts of students using the crossing at five different times, both during construction and after completion of construction. All counts were undertaken during periods of good weather. The number of elementary students crossing has ranged from three to seven students,” she wrote. “The OTC (Ontario Traffic Council) Manual recommends that to establish a consistent method of evaluation, a minimum number of students crossing during the school peak periods should be set at a threshold of 40 students. A lower value may be used at the discretion of each municipality. In June 2018, the Township completed a Core Services and Efficiency Review for a Crossing Guard Warrant Study. At that time Council passed a motion ‘that the minimum student volume be set at 12 students for the purposes of Crossing Guard Warrant analysis.”

Though Ward 2 Councillor Janna Guido stressed the importance of keeping all students safe. “I would say one child crossing warrants a crossing guard there. We fought for them before in previous years and the residents truly value this.”

Ward 3 Councillor Angus Ross asked, if this motion passed, when staff would do another student crossing count. “We’d do the count probably in May when the weather is the nicest,” Ms. Coleman responded. Ms. Coleman also said she would like to hire at least one more crossing guard before placing a crossing guard at the Reach Street and Simcoe Street intersection, because the township needs crossing guards. “We need crossing guards here. There is a deficiency of them, so we need more of them,” Councillor Brown stated.

Those interested in becoming a crossing guard can call Ms. Coleman at 905-985-7346 extension 149 or visit the ‘Employment Opportunities’ section of the township website at www.scugog.ca. Mayor Bobbie Drew questioned what a crossing guard roughly earns in a year. “The cost for a crossing guard for the township is about $10,000 per year,” Ms. Coleman explained.

Council later voted to approve Councillor Brown’s motion.