Wayland schools to pay for 2 traffic intersection devices

Wayland Union School District officials plan to deal with a couple of traffic issues this summer after receiving a number of citizens’ complaints.

Superintendent Tim Reeves said a couple of devices with strobe incubated light systems will be installed at the corner of East Superior Street and the high school entrance and at the corner further east at East Superior and Wildcat Drive, the entrance to Wayland Middle School. Both sites will have a crosswalk button.

Reeves said he had been in talks with the City of Wayland and with the Gun Lake Casino to help pay for the devices, but both declined to get involved. So the district will be going it alone.

Reeves estimated the cost of the two devices will be $60,000.

He noted the possibility the city and Gun Lake Tribe may help sometime later, but declared, “We don’t want to wait, we want to move forward on this project.”

The superintendent said, “With respect to the traffic devices and Gun Lake Tribe’s help with finding funding, we have actually worked with their Grants, Planning & Management team to see if they were able to assist us with finding grants to jointly apply for funding for these devices. 

“Their team was able to find a couple grants that might work for these traffic control systems such as, COPS School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP) Grant or Safe Routes to School Programs.  That said, these grants take people power to work through, operate around annual cycles for application acceptance, and generally offer a partial funding, something the GLT staff did not have capacity to help us with this year, and something we did not want to wait any longer to address.

“In the end, the district would be using our public improvement funds to purchase these traffic devices for the district. Our public improvement funds are part of the funds we receive semi-annually from the Gun Lake Tribe as tax in lieu funds.”

Motorists and pedestrians alike have complained about traffic bottlenecks, particularly early in the morning and early afternoon when students are coming to and going from school.

School board members also had a lengthy discussion about NEOLA policies governing teachers or staff members assisting students with abortion services.

Reeves said a Republican-dominated state legislature in 2017 passed a law forbidding any school officials to help students with abortion services without the knowledge of parents. However, the Democratic-dominated legislaure in the past year insisted that law be rescinded.

Sp the school board had a policy discussion for the local level.

“Board Treasurer Pete Zonderbvan said, “”We don’t want to be involved in that conversation… It’s up to the students and their parents.”

Board Trustee Jeff Koon echoed, “We shouldn’t get involved in any medical decisions without the input of parents. That’s not in our lane.”

However, Reeves said, “In my 26 years (in education), I’ve never heard of this (situation) happening.”

In other business at Monday evening’s meeting, the board:

  • Was given a presentation by eight student members of the Wayland High School robotics team #6090 about their trip to the worlds competition in Houston and they brought along their device they had in the contests.
  • Was told that participation in high school athletics has increased, but at the same time it has dropped for extra-curricular activities and missile school sports. Board member Becky Honk said she wondered if the all-too-common and almost universal troubles getting school bus drivers has had an impact.
  • Approved the expenditure of $61,344 for purchase of new flooring for the middle school cafeteria.
  • Agreed to renew the contract with Corewell for athletic trainer services for $30,000 next year, $35,000 in 2025-26 and $40,000 for 2026-27.

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