Shelby Interim Village Administrator Bill Cousins brought an update to council Monday regarding a recent invoice received by the Village of Shelby from Shelby Public Schools for 2019-20 crossing guard services. The invoice for $7,495.61 was over $2,000 higher than the previous school year which prompted the council to ask for more information.

A memo to council Monday evening from Cousins stated, “The school crossing guard program in Michigan states that a local unit of government providing law enforcement services in the community is responsible for the training of school crossing guards. But, it is silent on what entity has to provide and pay for them. Most of the crossing guards in Michigan are supplied by the local government. Some, as in Shelby, are hired by the school district. As for pay, some local governments pay the guards and others share the expense. The local government, regardless of who the guards work for, is required to train them. As you are aware, in Shelby, the school district hires and pays the guards and bills the village for their wages, retirement contributions and taxes paid for by the school district. The village receives a bill each June for the previous school year.”

The memo went on to state, “I believe Shelby is very interested in working with the school district when it comes to providing safe access for the students, so I feel we can work out any rough edges in our operations.” Cousins supplied the council with a record of invoices paid by the village from 2014 — 2019. It appears the costs may have varied a bit due to things such as varying wage levels, cost of benefits and snow days.” Cousins met with Superintendent Tim Reeves Aug. 25 when they discussed said invoice and to start discussions affecting both the village and the school district.

Cousins’ memo continued, “Classes ended early (in 2019) due to COVID-19, but all school employees were paid for the rest of the year, even if they sequestered at home. The school district is anxious to take themselves out of the crossing guard program, so if the village wants it, it’s ours. The district, however, has the staff to be able to provide a crossing guard sub when one is needed. If the village is the employer, are we going to have employees or subs willing to work 2 hours per day to provide the service? If no one is available we would be required to staff the crossings with our police officers. It may cost a bit more to have the school provide the guards, but it appears to be a lot less hassle for the village.”

Village President Paul Inglis said, “I’m pleased Bill’s established a monthly meeting with the Shelby Superintendent.” Councilor Dan Zaverl was concerned the council doesn’t know ahead of time what the school’s charges would be, “I’m tired of the school telling us what we’re going to do.” Councilor Jim Wyns asked, “Is this the norm? I don’t think the village wants to take this over. I would recommend perhaps a 10 percent increase cap each year so we have some control over the costs.” Zaverl suggested perhaps a 50/50 cost share. The vote to pay the Shelby School District invoice for 2019-20 Crossing Guard Services in the amount of $7495.61 passed 6-1, with Zaverl casting the lone no vote. Cousins concluded discussion by recommending the Administrator hold discussions with the Superintendent over the winter concerning the sharing of the cost of the crossing guard training and wages.

The village gave its support to a resolution supporting the November ballot proposal to amend the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and authorized the Administrator to submit the necessary forms and accounting reports for the Village of Shelby to participate in the Coronavirus Relief Local Government Grants program regarding the $12,724.00 Coronavirus Relief Funds received from the Michigan Department of Treasury. They also adopted a Soccer Goal Safety Policy and Severe Weather Policy to be distributed to all renters of the recreation fields in the Village of Shelby. “The policies are to prevent injury to users of the fields and therefore keep our insurance rates from an increase due to future injury claims,” Cousins said.

In committee business, the Water and Sanitation Committee has reviewed the Michigan Rural Water Association report prepared earlier this year. The committee directed the interim VA to work with the DPW supervisor and Fleis & Vandenbrink to review the village’s capital improvement needs and bring recommendations back to the committee for further study prior to further action by the council. Councilor Bill Harris said, “It’s been 16 years since rates have been increased. Not that we raise rates because of that, but state regulations now require a review every three years to be sure income matches expenses. We do need to do something or we are going to be in the red in short fashion.”

The Parks & Recreation Committee has been meeting regularly and rehearsing their trust fund grant presentation they will present to the state in October. They have also been approached by downtown business owner, Magooz Flooring, about the acquisition of property alongside his building for a possible pocket park.

The personnel committee will be very busy in the coming weeks as they begin the selection process for the new police chief and village manager positions. Four applications have been received for the Police chief position and 14 have been received for the village administrator position. Due to privacy requests, the names of the applicants will not be published until they have agreed to an interview by the village council.