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City, crossing guard company meet Tuesday

Crossing guard
Crossing guard

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – Wausau city leaders could decide tomorrow who will handle crossing guard duties in the city.

The city outsourced the work in August to California-based All City Management Services. Police Chief Jeff Hardel has said the city will experience long term savings because it will no longer have to pull patrol officers off of the road to cover for crossing guards who call in sick.

Company officials will visit Wausau tomorrow to meet with city leaders during a committee of the whole meeting at 5:30 p.m. Some City Council members called for the meeting this fall because the city signed the contract without Council oversight.

City human resources director Michael Loy is recommending the Council continue the contract with the company.

At issue is the cost of the outsourcing. The city had budgeted $75,000 for crossing guard salaries in 2011. The contract with the company is worth nearly $93,000.

But in a memo released Thursday, Loy says shifting liability costs to All City Management Services serves as one of the largest benefits of the city’s decision.

“The threshold for savings is low but the ceiling for liability is high. Liability is now retained by ACSM [sic],” Loy wrote.

City leaders have met with the school district to explore the possibility of a shared services agreement. But neither side is willing to pay for the program without managing it. And the school district says it does not have room in its budget to pay for crossing guards.

The Council only funded $75,000 worth of crossing guard services when it approved its 2012 budget last month. Loy said the Council should let the contract continue through the rest of the school year if it decides to change how services are run.