Summer rec bus backed

The Granville Town Summer Recreation Program has potential new life following a decision Monday night by the village board to contribute financial support to a needed bus run.

Town officials recently learned that the shuttle service to move children from a point within the village out to a temporary location at the Mary J. Tanner School would cost an additional $1,590 to cover the school district’s costs for a twice-daily driver, a bus and fuel.

The town must still make a decision if it is willing to contribute another $1,000 toward a program that costs the town in the neighborhood of $10,000 each summer.

Monday night the village board approved a request by Mayor Jay Niles to contribute $500 toward the effort to continue the program for the 2009 season.

“I’m for anything for the kids,” Trustee Dean Hyatt said in throwing his support behind the measure, “I’d hate to see the kids suffer.”

“We should do it; it’s a good program,” Trustee Gordie Smith said.

The final trustee in attendance, Brian LaRose, said he thought the relocation of the program was a good idea, “I think it’s a great thing that the taxpayers get to see the schools are available for more (community activities),” he said.

Niles said the shuttle service, if approved by the town, would likely leave from the Veterans Park parking lot.

The schedule of the recreation program supervisor has been rearranged to provide supervision in that area prior to the arrival of the bus and to have someone remain in the area until all of the children have been picked up or gone home following concerns voiced by school district Superintendent Dan Teplesky.

The contribution measure unanimously passed the village board 4-0 with Trustee Frank Caruso absent from the meeting.

School officials had informed the town board that Granville Elementary and the Granville High School, both previous locations for the recreation program, will not be suitable places for children to play over the course of the summer with work continuing on the EXCEL project.

The program needed a new home for the summer of 2009 that provided restroom facilities as well as a place to play and get out of bad weather.

The option of providing a bus run for the children out to Mary J. Tanner School and back into the village has been discussed.

Supervisor Rodger Hurley said the town board would not take any action regarding the summer recreation program until its regular meeting June 11, regardless of how the village board acted.

“We’re having discussion with the (town) board members on how to proceed; hopefully we’ll be able to maintain the program,” he said. 

Hurley said the school could not contribute funds to support the program because it was not a public school function so there was no chance of a three-way split of the cost.

School officials are, however, willing to provide a bus and driver at a cost of $53 per day, or $1,590, for the entire six-week program.

Hurley said the town and village had worked well together in the past on a number of issues and he would be pleased with any support the village chose to throw behind continuing the program.

“We’ll be appreciative regardless of what the village board decides to do,” he said. “We’re looking at this problem as a community to see how we can best sustain this program,” Hurley said.

Suspension of the program for one year has also been discussed as an option.

Hurley said he had discussed the issue with Niles and he had been receptive to the idea of sharing in some of the cost of hiring the bus, “He was very interested and supportive,” he said.

Hurley said the town board would need to make a decision on the matter to allow time for hiring the program supervisor and assistants.

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