CRAVEN COUNTY - In years past, school buses were not allowed through the community gates of Fairfield Harbour-- the bus stop had to be outside the gates.
Over the past years, Craven County Schools, Fairfield Harbour, and parents have been trying to figure out a solution to this bus stop issue that has caused a lot of frustration. A controversy that even called for sheriff deputies and a state trooper to get involved.
Until this year, Fairfield Harbour did not let school buses through the gates. Parents had to drop off and pick up their kids at off-site bus stops that were chosen by Craven County Schools.
But Fairfield Harbour said they didn't like those stops. One of them right outside their entrance, on Broad Creek Road and Marina Drive.
Parents accused the neighborhood's security guards of intimidating the children and parents. Parents say bus drivers were told by the guards that the kids couldn't get off the bus at the Broad Creek Road and Marina Drive stop.
The Property Owners Association said the stop was dangerous and caused traffic problems, and wanted it to be moved.
Law enforcement even had to get involved.
Craven County Schools and Fairfield Harbour said the best way to solve the problem is to allow buses into the community- a decision that is being received well.
A statement from Fairfield Harbour says, ""We are excited to have this issue resolved and that the solution is one that makes everyone happy. Fairfield Harbour's priority has always been the safety of the children and we are so happy to see that our youngest residents can get on and off the bus safely."
The Craven County School District says 88 children will be riding the buses. Three buses will serve the community.
Craven County Schools says this decision will be more costly--the school will have to incur extra miles on the buses and use more fuel, however, school officials say it's worth the cost.