Morenci school superintendent Kyle Griffith saw the deal as an offer too good to refuse: two school buses for the price of one.
Morenci joined a consortium of eight Lenawee and Jackson county schools to take advantage of a U.S. EPA grant through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Program.
With a 50 percent local match, the districts will share $1.79 million to retrofit existing buses to meet new emission standards and to buy new buses.
Morenci will use its share to acquire a pair of buses.
“We’re very fortunate,” Griffith said. “Our bus replacement schedule has been put off [due to financial conditions] so we went for the half-off deal.”
Griffith said the district will save about $80,000. The school’s two buses most in need of replacement will be exchanged.
The grant is similar to the federal “cash for clunkers” program in that the old vehicles cannot be sold but instead must be scrapped.
Griffith initially thought the program was strictly for the purpose of buying propane-fueled buses, but now he believes the district might have the choice of propane or new fuel-efficient diesel models.
“It’s a good problem to have,” he said about the decision the board must make.
Board members will need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each model.
The participating districts will purchase a total of 12 new buses and 41 diesel particulate filter and closed crankcase ventilation retrofit technology systems.
Participating Lenawee County districts are Morenci, Blissfield, Deerfield, Britton and the LISD. Jackson County schools include Columbia, Grass Lake and Hanover-Horton.