By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
Sarah Morse, one of the parents at the Bus Stop School Board Meeting Sept. 6, was present again at the Board’s Sept. 20 meeting to present her idea for bus stop shelters around the county.
Over the weekend, Morse’s husband, Alan, along with a neighbor, Jimmy Taylor, his son Pat Taylor, and Kenny Hall (who purchased the materials) had erected an open-ended eight-by-ten shelter, on Old Valdosta Road in Cherry Lake. The materials cost $380 for the eight-by-ten shelter with a four-rafter roof, and took the group about two hours to build. The structure was built in sections, and built to be quite sturdy, yet it can be easily disassembled and removed, if a bus stop is relocated or a route is changed, or if a landowner changes his or her mind about having one of the shelters on their property.
Morse had brought photos of the structure and was hoping to generate publicity and awareness for the shelter idea, a place where children can wait for the bus during inclement weather.
She would probably be spending a lot of time washing cars and selling lemonade to raise money for more shelters, she said, and Hall added that it would be a great project for PTO groups, or civic organizations, or even businesses that might want to sponsor a shelter and have business ads placed on the sides.
Hall also emphasized that getting the shelters in place was a multi-step, multi-organization process to get approval for the locations. DOT regulations require that all such shelters be set back at least ten feet from paved roads, and such setbacks usually mean it is off the public right-of-way as well and sitting on private property. The landowner has to give permission for the shelter to be located there, and once the shelter-building group has that permission, they then have to go to the bus barn and coordinate the shelter location and the requirements of the bus department.“We’re hoping to have these things throughout the county, wherever we can get the landowners to let us put them,” said Morse.
“We’d like to get the word out and let people know about them if they want to help or donate materials or money, because there’s no money in the (school district) budget for them.”