Grant to help pedestrian safety at schools

The North Dakota Department of Transportation approved a project to help create pedestrian safety zones around Jamestown schools and could start by the summer of 2020.

Student recognition for speech and music were given at Monday’s Jamestown Public School Board meeting. Tom LaVenture / The Sun

The North Dakota Department of Transportation approved a project to help create pedestrian safety zones around Jamestown schools and could start by the summer of 2020.

Jamestown Public School District was awarded a $290,000 grant for its Safe Routes to School grant application, said Robert Lech, school district superintendent, in his report to the Jamestown Public School Board on Monday. The federal aid program was created by Congress in 2005 to fund comprehensive transportation alternatives around schools.

There will be two middle school crossing bumps on Second Avenue Southeast and a recessed drop-off and pick-up lane with a corner bumpout along Third Street Southeast, Lech said. There will be signs, pavement striping and beacons at the five elementary schools, he said.

“There is a ton of congestion around the middle school and this is going to help make sure that everything we have is safe for students,” Lech said.

The grant application said the $595,000 project includes the $290,000 award limit, and a school district portion of $228,750 will come from a 1-mill assessment over a 10-year or 20-year period to not result in significant taxpayer impact. The city of Jamestown will pay 25 percent of the $305,000 local share using a 2 percent interest rate loan from the Bank of North Dakota.


The school board also approved a lease agreement with Otter Tail Power Co. to build a 104-panel solar energy array on Jamestown High School land facing 13th Street Northeast just behind Temple Baptist Church. The 20-kilowatt system will feed into the energy grid and is designed to visibly promote renewable energy, said Bob Sitzmann, the area energy management representative for Otter Tail Power.

The solar panels will take up 2,200 square feet and the total project area will be about 4,000 square feet, he said. The project area will be surrounded by a pollinator garden and Otter Tail personnel are available upon request for school-related activities, he said.

The school district will receive a one-time $10,000 payment for a 25-year agreement that is based on the expected life of the equipment, Sitzmann said. The contract is renewed each year and the right to remove requires one-year written notice, he said.

In other business the school board approved:

  • End of school year resignations of Janelle Green, JHS science teacher; Joan Gehlhar, speech and language pathologist at Louis L’Amour Elementary, and Sara Taszarek, second grade teacher at Gussner Elementary.
  • Hirings of Amy Joseph, third grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary; Sarah McDermid as JHS Spanish teacher; Jenna Newman, kindergarten teacher at Washington Elementary, and Janna Strege, JHS business teacher.

A two-year service contract with the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Services for day treatment programs for at-risk youth.

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