OGDEN — Some parents in Ogden say a farm supply company is risking their kids' safety.
After the Intermountain Farmers Association recently blocked access to a roadway on property it owns, about a dozen people gathered Monday to protest the move that they say forces students and faculty to instead navigate a busy street each school day.
Those going to and from Twin Rivers High School and the neighboring Weber Innovations Campus must now traverse 12th Street on their way to school.
Charlotte Ekstrom, who has kids at each school, said cars driving 50 mph — or sometimes faster — concern both her and her kids.
"For me, it’s not just the safety of the students and everybody that works at this school," Ekstrom said as she protested with others along the corner of 12th Street and 1050 West. "It’s also protecting people that are trying to make their way to work."
When students take 12th Street, "They've got to slow way down and then make a right here, which is fine, as long as people are paying attention. Mostly, you turn this corner and you think, 'Please don't hit me,'" Ekstrom explained.
The road in question, 1050 West, which is on land owned by the IFA, is designated as a public easement. IFA owners and the school district have so far failed to agree on terms to keep access for students, parents and staff at the two schools open.
The issue is currently being reviewed in court.
Weber School District spokesman Lane Findlay says a judge had initially ordered 1050 West opened, but that decision was later reversed. IFA put up barriers to block access for the schools last week.
Findlay said the school district feels students should have access to the public easement and the traffic light at 1050 West. "It really comes down to trying to keep students safe. Twelfth Street is a very busy road; it’s a 50 mile-an-hour zone," according to Findlay.
The school district offered $300,000 dollars to buy the land the road is on. IFA asked for $900,000, Findlay said.
Another mother, Rebecca Gurnee, said she would like to see the roadway remain open while the matter is resolved in court.
"Our concern is, in the meantime what’s going to happen to the kids? What will happen to the faculty, the staff? Every Weber school employee that needs to come to this building?" Gurnee said. "All of them are at risk."
A junior at the Weber Innovations Campus, Justin Jacobson, also shared his concerns.
"When you have to pull into (Weber Innovations Campus) and you can’t safely slow down, it gets a bit scary," he explained. "Because I turn a bit sharply, or like I hit the curb when I come in to (the school) because I don’t have enough time to safely slow down."3 comments on this story
Craig Sellers, vice president of finance at IFA, issued a statement Monday saying the company "does not believe the Weber School District has a legal right to access the IFA property."
"A judge recently ruled that IFA is allowed to block the Weber School District, including its students, buses and employees, from accessing the IFA property. This matter is the subject of pending litigation, and IFA is optimistic that the parties can reach a mutually agreeable resolution of this matter," according to the statement.