Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Kasson council decides to install bus stop signs on Main Street

One of the busiest places in Kasson early on weekday mornings is the Just Like Home School Age Children Care building at 304 W. Main St. - the old Folkestad building.

The facility is licensed to care for 120 children before and after school and on snow days, holidays and during the summer.

All the students range in age from kindergarten through sixth grade.

The co-owners of the business, Maggie Fitch and Marlo Bungum have been in business for 15 years; these ladies know what they’re doing.

On an average school day, children start arriving at the building as early as 6 a.m.

They come in, hang their coats and backpacks on their own, labeled hooks, take off their shoes, and then race to their preferred activity.

The thousands of square feet available in the building for the children allow room for every type of activity imaginable.

Sometimes, when parents come to pick their children up in the afternoon, the kids don’t want to leave; there’s just so much fun stuff going on.

The business serves a fast-growing market of parents who need to get to work before the school bus picks up their kids or who don’t want their little ones at home alone after school.

About 7:20 a.m., the kids jump up from their activities, put their shoes and coats and backpacks on and get in lines for the buses, which pick them up at the front door to the building.

One of the staff members is right there, making sure the kids are getting on the right bus, no one gets trampled, and the kids get up the big steps safely.

If no vehicles are parked in front of the building for that few minutes it takes to load – and unload in the afternoon – the whole process is fast and drivers in rush hour traffic on Main St. don’t even know it’s going on.

But, if one car is parked in front of the building, the buses must stop in the eastbound traffic lane and the bus drivers must lever out their big red stop signs on the left sides of the buses and – theoretically – vehicles approaching and following the bus must stop while the kids embark.

Before Fitch and Bungum moved their business into the building, one of the things they talked about with city officials was having signage installed that would keep people from parking right in front of the building for those two drop-off and pick-up times.

Time passed. Personnel at the city changed. Traffic gets held up. Tempers flare.

But now, all that will change.

At the last Kasson City Council meeting Jan 25, council members agreed wholeheartedly to have city crews install signs directing people not to park in front of the building during the drop off/pick up times.

“It can’t hurt to try it,” said one council member.

In other business, new Mayor Chris McKern stressed that, “We need the entire community going the same direction.”

He talked about the feedback he has received as the new mayor, some of which just rehashes past events.

He would like to see the city “get that trust back,” encouraged people to “get the issues out” and reiterated that “his door is always open.”

 “Petty grudges stop here,” he said. “We need to be the leaders that act that way. We are going to move forward.”

He recognized April Paulson, who was in the audience, as the Kasson-Mantorville Lion of the Year and she received a round of applause at the end of the meeting.

The group scheduled a planning meeting for 8 a.m. Feb 25 at the public works building.

The council meets again at 6 p.m. Feb 8 at city hall.


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