Every day crossing guards help usher school kids safely across the street before and after class.

No one argues the job should to be done, but there is disagreement over who should be responsible for it.

The county, which is struggling financially, spends about $21,000 annually for guards and wants to cut that expense from the budget next year.
The city, which spends about $83,000 annual, says the system in place is out of date.

This all came about a number of years ago before the school district even had a security department. Well, now they've got quite extensive security and so forth and it would just make better sense for that to be consolidated under one rather than spread out all over," said Mayor Bob Stephens.

The police chief agrees.
Right now, three traffic control officers fill in when it's needed, but Chief Paul Williams said it's not working because there's a high absentee rate among part-time guards.

"What usually happens those people don't call and they don't show up, or we find out at the last minute so that was not working well at all and you can't put 3 people in a dozen locations," said Chief Williams.

At a city council luncheon on Tuesday, all three parties talked about possible solutions but the only thing agreed upon was that they will keep the dialogue going.