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Two School Districts Cashing in on State Grant for Buses

OZARK, Mo. -- Several school districts in Southwestern Missouri are getting help buying new school buses this year. Its part of the early bus replacement program from the U.S. Department of Natural Resources.
The goal is to take some of these older buses out of service and replace it with newer buses that have far better fuel efficiency.
OZARK, Mo. -- Several school districts in Southwestern Missouri are getting help buying new school buses this year. Its part of the early bus replacement program from the U.S. Department of Natural Resources. School districts had to apply to be considered.

With more than sixty buses in their fleet and serving 5,200 children, Director of Operations Chris Bauman says the Ozark R-VI school buses have to be up to par.

"We bus 100% of our kids, everybody has access to our transportation to all of our schools," says Bauman.

The school district is one of five, including Clever R-V and Joplin Schools, to receive a grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

"The goal is to take some of these older buses out of service and replace it with newer buses that have far better fuel efficiency."

According to the Department of Natural Resources, older buses release more toxic emissions into the atmosphere. Ozark R-VI has three that need to be replaced now.

"I would say there are about three that might be approaching the point of which will start reviewing if  their value is what it needs to be," explains Bauman.

He says they are forced to make the buses have a long life span because of the cost.

"Once the costs for repairs get to becoming so great and maintaining the safety of that school bus, once those start exceeding then its time for that bus to be replaced."

Bauman says the grant will give them about 25% of the total cost for a new school bus and the district picks up the rest.

"A new bus is going to run you somewhere between $80,000 to $90,000 so we are excited for this grant."

He says this helps out because they try to replace their buses as often as possible, but several in their fleet are decades old.

"We usually try to replace about two buses a year, as our budget allows, is kind of the goal."

Hartville R-II, Winona R-III, Plato R-V and Greene County R-VIII were all chosen as alternates, if any of the five aren't able to come up with 75% of the cost. 


 

 

 
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