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Wellsville students need better walking routes to school, says asst. principal

March 18th, 2011 Posted in Opinion

By Noelle Johansen

WELLSVILLE — Students who walk to school need safer walkways, Willow Valley Middle School assistant principal Stacie Gomm told the City Council Wednesday.

Gomm told the council about the School Neighborhood Access Program (SNAP) plan, designating specific and safe walking routes for students traveling to and from the school. She talked the council through the routes and asked for permission to contact Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) about changes to the route along Highway 23.

“UDOT has money and they have it set aside for SNAP plans,” Gomm said.

She asked the council to consider establishing crosswalks at five intersections, to “align all those adjoining sidewalks,” but said she understood that everything costs money, as she spent four years on Providence City Council.

“The day we see a child get hit is the day we see crossing zones,” Gomm said.

Two secondary goals Gomm had for the city are school or school crossing zone signs throughout the designated walking routes and the enforcement of clear sidewalks in winter. Gomm said she’d hate to see the students walking in the road in winter.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a kid walk on the sidewalk,” Councilman Jackie Orton said. Orton lives in the Red Slide area of Wellsville and said he sees students ignoring the sidewalks year-round.

“Kids will walk the shortest route between two points,” Gomm said. “All we can do is provide a safe way and pray they use it.”

The council also approved a proclamation declaring April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. “We love Wellsville,” said Diane Graham, from the Logan Child and Family Support Center. “We appreciate your support.”

Graham also spoke of possible expansion of the Child and Family Support Center into Wellsville and Hyrum. The center is located at 1400 N. 300 West in Logan. “We’ll see what happens down the road,” she said.

In other business, the council:

— Met with representatives from the Forest Service and the Bear River Watershed Council about the community use of an unauthorized path near the Linley water tank, through private property, and past the forest boundary.

— Discussed the installation of a bench on a corner on Main Street. The bench is an AMVET donation.

— Elected Councilman Ron Case as Mayor Pro Tem in case of Mayor Thomas Bailey’s absence, for 2011.


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