The Fayetteville Board of Mayor and Aldermen gave its unanimous approval Tuesday to providing its requested share of funding for a third school resource officer (SRO) for its City Schools System, a move that now affords each city school its own SRO.
“We feel we need one at each school,” said Dr. Janine Wilson, director of Fayetteville City Schools, in last week’s regular session of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. “If anyone is listening at all to the national news, school safety is on everyone’s mind – I know it weighs heavily on my mind every day.
“I know we would certainly rather be proactive than reactive,” she continued. “There’s nothing that takes the place of that human element of having an SRO in each building.”
Last year, the system had one SRO on its campus at Askins School and a second SRO on the combined campus of Fayetteville High School and Fayetteville Middle School but concerns over one officer having to cover two buildings prompted system officials to pursue the third SRO. To that end, the City Schools System applied for grant through the State Department of Education to fund the bulk of the costs for the third officer.
“We received word yesterday that we did receive the grant,” Wilson said, adding that official notification is forthcoming.
According to the agreement, the City Schools System would pay 60 percent of the cost of a police vehicle for the SRO, approximately $27,000, and the City of Fayetteville would cover the remaining 40 percent, or approximately $18,000. In addition, the city will fund the SRO’s salary for the two months the school isn’t in session – June and July – at a recurring cost of $11,274. During those months, the officer would work on a flex schedule for the police department.
In other business, City Administrator Scott Collins noted that Phase III of the city’s Greenway/Blueway Master Plan, a river walk around the perimeter of Camp Blount Historic Site, was not selected by the state for Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) for grant funding this cycle. Phase I, a connector from the square to Stone Bridge Park, begins construction this week, while Phase II, a pedestrian bridge over the Elk River, should be going to bid soon.
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen also approved the following:
ü Adopted Ordinance 2019-05, a revision to its Code Title 16, Chapter 2, regarding excavations. The change gives the city three days, instead of one, to grant a permit for excavation work along city streets.
ü Okayed the additional expense of $2,500 for a graphics artist’s rendering of before and after visuals related to the Downtown Master Plan being developed by the Walker Collaborative.
ü Approved the appointment of Joe Smith, an engineer, to the Fayetteville Board of Zoning Appeals, and the reappointment of Tom Bailey to the Board of Appeals.