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Bus Issue & Shelter

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- The Commander's Action Line is a forum for the Ellsworth community to make suggestions or voice concerns about Ellsworth directly to Col. Mark Weatherington, 28th Bomb Wing commander. 

QUESTION 
My daughter came home yesterday with a note stating that they changed the bus stop location because some of the kids are not being watched by their parents and bullying other kids. Well the bus stop was scheduled to be moved to the end of the road which in my eyes was dangerous. We have a bunch of little ones our road and that's where they direct the excess snow off our road. So I contacted the contract manager to have it changed. The contract manager suggested to across the street from the originally bus stop. Well the bus stop can't pick the kids up from that side of the street because the bus would have to stop and let the kids cross in front of the bus to get on. So I called back and the contract manager changed it for between 316 and 318 Birch Street which is a safe and clear area for the kids to wait. Our only problem is now we need a shelter before the snow comes and not only for this bus stop between 316 and 318 Birch but for the one at the other end of birch which meets George Street. I called into housing and talked with them they said that it wouldn't happen because they are about to go privatized. Ok this seems to me that with them saying this, our kid's safety isn't important. I do not agree with them and something needs to be done. Is there any way that this can be brought to their attention that it is very important for our kids to have a shelter.
Col. Mark Weatherington
Col. Mark
Weatherington
  RESPONSE
Thanks for your question and for your initiative to inform the bus service--the safety of our children is an important issue for all of us. Funding different projects around the base is often more complicated than it appears--even something as simple as a bus shelter. Because this housing area is military family housing, we can only use Military Construction (or MILCON) funds to pay for improvements (using other funds is against the law). The wing requested these funds but was turned down due to the upcoming privatization of base housing and limited MILCON dollars. We will work with the privatized housing contractor to identify potential improvements (such as shelters) over the next year or so, but we will be unable to provide shelters this winter.

I also want to point out that children should be properly supervised while waiting for the bus, and I encourage parents to cooperate to eliminate any bullying or bad behavior.