Morenci to buy two new school buses 7.29.09

Written by David Green.

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.

  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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