POLAND, Maine — A daycare provider here will soon get a flashing stop sign in front of her driveway to improve school bus stop safety for the students she serves, the Sun Journal reports.
Jan Jordan of Little Hands Childcare told the newspaper that she began advocating for the flashing sign after witnessing motorists fail to stop for school buses at the Regional School Unit 16 (RSU 16) bus stop in front of her driveway. The bus stop, which was shut down in January due to safety reasons, had affected nine of the district’s students, all from Jordan’s daycare, according to the Sun Journal. Even though the students were able to be transported to and from school by a special minibus that could pull into Jordan’s driveway, they had to wait for a driver to become available, which often meant getting to school late, the newspaper reports.
RSU 16 officials recently agreed to purchase and install the $13,000 solar-powered sign as a solution; however, Jordan was told the district would need to be reimbursed and that she would be responsible for paying the bill, according to the Sun Journal.
Jordan told the newspaper that on July 12 she had received a call from U.S. Rep. Jared Golden’s office informing her that his staff members would work with the State Department of Education and other state departments to see what they could offer to help pay for the sign. Many other daycare owners and community members also began offering donations, leading bottle drives, and even creating an online fundraiser to help pay for the sign, the Sun Journal reports.
Kenneth Healey, the superintendent for RSU 16, told the newspaper that while he sympathizes with Jordan, he does not want to take $13,000 out of the district’s budget and use taxpayers' money. He also said that he was concerned other community members would demand similar signs funded by the district. RSU 16 has offered to set up a payment plan if Jordan agrees to pay $1,000 a year for 13 years, Healey told the Sun Journal. The district's board of directors is expected to discuss the issue further when the sign is installed next month, according to the newspaper.
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