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Creston City Councils backs CCSD on school safety grant

Creston Community School District’s superintendent, Steve McDermott, took the podium at the city council’s regular meeting Tuesday to ask the council for its blessing on a federal grant application.

“We’ve recently worked on a grant application that’s federal money for some additional school safety measures. The list right now includes a shooter alert system, a panic button system in our offices, additional fob entry system, lighting upgrades — primarily, additional exterior lighting around our buildings — metal detectors at our entrances, an advanced paging system and advanced two-way radio system,” explained McDermott.

The cost of purchasing and installing all of the proposed items totals at $735,627 and the STOP School Violence Grant would provide the district with $500,000. However, McDermott didn’t come to ask for help funding the remainder of the cost.

“This is a lot of times like grants are, typically there’s matching funds involved — we have the matching funds necessary already budgeted,” said McDermott. “The reason why I’m here is that we need a municipality to give us their blessing to work with them because it’s a federal grant.”

The application had, in fact, already been submitted on July 30, as City Administrator Mike Taylor explained.

“We just need to approve it,” said Taylor. “I’d like you just to concur. It’s applied for, to be honest with you. The deadline was past — it was July 30. I mean, we had to do it.”

The council had a few clarifying questions about some of the items on the list, but ultimately supported the project.

“Well, I sure agree; these are all things that you need, Steve,” said Councilor Marsha Wilson.

“I’m sorry we do,” replied McDermott.

The motion to back the school district in its application for safety upgrades passed unanimously. In an email to Taylor, Billie Jo Greene of CCSD reported that “the COPS office anticipates making award announcements prior to Sept. 30.”

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