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.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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