Hudson -- The city found a way to help fund $10,000 in labor, materials and donations for Safety Town, an education program for kindergartners.

Some Council members did not want to approve a grant from the city's general fund of $10,000 for a permanent Safety Town but suggested in-kind donations.

The council did not want to take money from the general fund, pointing out the estimated expenses for 2014 exceeded its revenue projections by $2.4 million, an additional $600,000 more than the $1.8 million projected at the end of 2013.

Interim City Manager Scott Schroyer proposed Hudson Public Power would provide materials and in-kind work for $6,000, and the Fire Department would provide up to $4,000 for any shortage in donations.

Council May 7 unanimously approved a motion of support.

"I applaud the city for finding alternatives," said Council President Hal DeSaussure. "Council didn't want to be a grant making body, but we support Safety Town."

Council member Dan Williams said he was concerned with the status of the general fund because of the harsh winter's additional expenses and appreciated the city's work on finding funding from other departments instead of the general fund.

The program was recently renamed "Kiwanis Safety Town" to recognize Hudson Kiwanis' support of the project and Hudson schools.

"Safety Town is an important learning experience for Hudson children, and the Kiwanis is proud to take a leadership role in this project," said Tom Semple, vice president of the Board of the Hudson Kiwanis.

The committee to create a permanent Safety Town to teach kindergartners how to attend school safely asked the city April 27 for a grant of $10,000 toward the project cost of $70,000. Council asked Schroyer to look for alternatives.

The construction of a permanent Safety Town facility is underway and scheduled to be completed by June 9 for the opening session. It would be built on a 60-foot-by-60-foot concrete slab adjacent to an existing playground at Evamere Elementary. The slab could be used for other activities throughout the year. Next to the slab would be a storage building for the 24 miniature buildings and pedal cars. HCER will announce sessions for safety town in the future.

The Safety Town program is operated and funded by Hudson Community Education Recreation.

Safety Town has been in operation for at least 50 years when it was started by Hudson Community Service in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Hudson. An estimated 90 percent of all children entering kindergarten in the Hudson City School District attend the program.


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