MENOMONIE — School officials on Monday urged the City Council to help fund an additional youth services officer for the upcoming school year, but the city is weighing its funding options for now.
The funding for this position is proposed to be shared 60 percent by the school district and 40 percent by the city. The potential new officer would oversee Menomonie elementary schools and the middle school. It’s estimated this position will cost the district $60,000 and the city $40,000.
Mayor Randy Knaack said he will talk with surrounding towns and the county to see if they will contribute dollars for this position. While he said that he’s is favor of the position, the prime concern for the city is budget restraints.
“We’re kind of up against a rock and a hard place,” he said.
No action was taken during the council meeting Monday. Multiple council members did say they were in favor of the position if the city can find a funding source.
Schools Superintendent Joe Zydowsky pressed the importance of having a second officer in place by September. He said he’s received phone calls on bomb threats, armed people, drugs in schools and “high and out of control” parents.
“I’m not talking about four years. I’m talking about the last few months,” he said. “We need help.”
Middle school principal Bart Boettcher and Dunn County District Attorney Andrea Nodolf also voiced support.
“I certainly understand that budget constraints are tight but in my humble opinion there’s no better use of taxpayer dollars than to ensure the safety and security of our students,” Nodolf said.
Councilwoman Mary Solberg said she started driving a school bus last September and learned the times have changed.
“This is more than just kids that are misbehaving,” she said.
In April, the school board approved a staffing plan for the 2018-19 school year with the intention to bring another youth services officer on board.
The staffing plan includes the equivalent of an additional full-time teaching position in special needs/physical education, full-time teacher’s aide, an additional youth services officer, a social worker and a Global Education Achievement Certificate adviser.
In other news, a public hearing regarding liquor and beer licenses for Rehab, 631 Broadway St., will be at 6 p.m. Monday at the Dunn County Government Center, 800 Wilson Ave.
Contact: 715-830-5840, firstname.lastname@example.org, @BenRueter on Twitter