LINGLE – Crosswalk safety concerns brought forth by Police Chief Endra Andrews of the Lingle Police Department were discussed before the Lingle Town Council Wednesday evening during the council’s second regular meeting of August.
“On the 24th, I will be teaching little kids how to properly cross the street and use the crosswalk in front of the school,” Andrews said. “For some reason, in front of the elementary school, we have this weird, perfect storm of teachers, parents, students that drive and young children trying to cross the street, and this seems to be pretty difficult for people to grasp.”
Andrews said she spends a great deal of time at the location trying to prevent vehicle and pedestrian traffic issues.
“It’s a weird intersection,” Councilman Micah Foster said. “It’s ‘cattywampus,’ the way the blocks are.”
“Nobody pays attention going through there,” Andrews added. “Then you got the little kids just bolting out into the middle of the street.”
Councilwoman Kathy Wilhelm asked Andrews if she had any possible solutions to the issue to provide to the council.
“Maybe people could drive like they are supposed to, pay attention and care about children,” Andrews replied. “This is pretty basic driving skills stuff, and the high school kids are generally not the ones causing the problem. If I am gone from the front of that school for too long, it’s chaos. We have tried to get teachers and para to go down there and help kids cross the street.”
Andrews said she had spoken with the schools previously, asking to have staff members down by the street, but nobody stays by the street consistently.
Foster recommended contacting Lingle-Fort Laramie Schools Principal Cory Gilchriest and asking for his input.
Wilhelm asked if there was the possibility of seeking further assistance from the Goshen County Sheriff’s Office in helping cover school traffic when she is not available.
Andrews said teachers had asked to have her present crosswalk safety training to them so they could ensure the safety of students using the crosswalk before and after school.
Two Lingle residents in the audience offered to serve the schools as crossing guards.
Lingle resident Tabitha Lambert asked if there was the possibility of seeking grants for better signage, such as lighted signage, as seen in surrounding communities.
Mayor Al Unverzagt offered the idea of seeking additional volunteers to serve as school crossing guards and see if a schedule could be established.
The council and Andrews agreed to discuss the matter with Gilchriest before moving forward.
During the public comment period, Lennie Sandlian requested consideration from the council concerning the Goshen County Senior Friendship Center in Lingle.
“We feel there is a huge need to update the bathrooms,” Sandlian said. “It was brought to my attention, first of all, the heights of the toilets are about like this (Sandlian extended her hand down one and a half feet above the ground). So, we would like to have higher toilets. Also, we had a man come in with a walker; he was not able to get into the men’s bathroom with his walker because it’s only 24 inches wide. Now, the women’s is 36 (inches), but if you were in a wheelchair and you went in there, you couldn’t shut the door. So, there is need to make some changes.”
Sandlian said she had considered removing a wall and creating a sizeable unisex bathroom that would allow ample room for movement. Additionally, she offered the idea of possibly turning the men’s restroom into a janitorial closet, as several appliances are already located in the bathroom.
Sandlian addressed concern over a wall in the senior center with water damage that may also need maintenance and replacement.
Sandlian said she had been working with Linda Cockett, executive director for the Senior Friendship Center, regarding the concerns.
Wilhelm offered to nominate the project for consideration as part of the Project 1 program through the North Hills Baptist Church. She said she didn’t know whether the project would qualify for the program but suggested it may fit the purview of the group’s scope.
Sandlian and the council also discussed involving Customer Health Services (CHS) Specialist Ramona Moody in planning this project. Moody would help the town ensure American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance.
The council and Sandlian agreed to consult with Cockett and Moody before moving forward with the project.
Lambert, also a member of the Lingle Volunteer Fire Department (LVFD), informed the council of the upcoming street dance to be held Saturday, Aug. 20.
“The bar has decided to open it to the public, to all ages,” Lambert said. “We will be doing wristbands for 21 and over. We’re doing a cream can. The bar is donating all of the proceeds back to the Lingle Volunteer Fire Department. It’s going to be a free will (donation). We’ll have a boot (for donations), we’ll have glowsticks for sale; t-shirts for sale.”
Lambert reported Painter Produce of Henry donated produce for the event, Mayor Al Unverzagt donated corn for the event and the Corner Bar will be providing the cream can. Dinner will begin at 6 p.m. with the Eclectic Cause band playing music, beginning at 8 p.m.
Brandi Hill, pool manager for the town, reported the pool had been closed since Tuesday night for cleaning. There will be a glow swim on Saturday from 8-10 p.m. The pool will be closed Monday as school starts Tuesday.
Town Clerk/Treasurer Ritch Reyes told the council he had contacted Copier Connection and learned they would be receiving the new copier for the town office in nine to 12 weeks, the town will be paying off a truck and Bob Cress’ de-annexation ordinance will most likely be presented at the next council meeting.
The council approved two malt beverage permits, one for Pinnacle Bank on Aug. 27 from 3-9 p.m. and one for Mark Sims on Sept. 4 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The next Lingle Town Council meeting will be Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 7 p.m. in the Lingle Community Center on Main Street.