POLAND, Maine — The owner of a day care in Poland, who asked for a flashing safety sign to be installed at the bus stop near her facility, said the school district told her she needs to pay $13,000 for it.
“We have no option because these kids need to get back and forth to school safely,” Little Hands Child Care owner Jan Jordan said.
Jordan has run Little Hands Child Care from her home off of Route 11 for more than 20 years.
“Whether they live in this house or do not live in this house, I provide a service to these children and have for many years. I raised a lot of the community here,” Jordan said.
Jordan said the bus stop near her child care center is unsafe because of distracted drivers and speeding cars on Route 11.
After a close call with a truck at the bus stop, Regional School Unit 16 Superintendent Kenneth Healey decided to eliminate the bus stop for safety reasons.
“When something’s unsafe, it’s unsafe,” Healey said.
A small bus then came by the day care at the end of its run to get the children to school, but Jordan said the children were arriving a half hour late every morning.
Jordan said she was forced to drive the children to school herself so they would arrive on time and find extra help for the children who were staying at her day care for the day.
Jordan said she asked school officials to install the safety sign and bring the bus stop back.
“Even after we install the flashing lights and sign, it’ll be safer, but not safe,” Healey said.
Jordan said she had no idea how expensive it would be and she would have to pay for it.
“They feel that because I’m a for-profit business that they shouldn’t have to pay for it. Even though the nine children that I have in my care are students at RSU 16,” Jordan said.
Before any payment is made, the RSU 16 school board will meet in August to make a final decision on payment for the sign.
“We have a solution. We have it on order. It will be installed sometime in the middle part of August. It’s now who is responsible for paying for it,” Healey said.
Healey suggested several options with Jordan, including that she pay $1,000 over the next 13 years for the sign.