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Gainesville school system to spend $220K for 3 new buses

Gainesville City Schools will be getting three new school buses this fall to replace aging buses in the district.

School board members voted Monday night to spend a little more than $220,000 out of the proposed fiscal year 2018 budget on the three buses. The state would kick in a little more than $77,220.

Chris Griner, chief financial officer for the Gainesville schools, said Jerry Castleberry, director of transportation for the district, had requested the buses be ordered now so they could be delivered for the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.

“There is about a five- to six-month delivery window,” Griner said.

The school system will not pay for the buses until they are delivered.

Griner said the funds are already included in the 2018 proposed budget.

The $77,220 from the state is less than the cost of one bus. The buses cost $99,958 apiece. Griner said the money from the state for buses “continues to trend down.”

Castleberry said the buses that will be replaced are each more than 20 years old. He said the average age of the Gainesville City Schools buses is 12.5 years, but there are still four buses that are more than 27 years old.

“As our fleet would get younger, our allocation (from the state) has dropped,” Castleberry said. “We started off getting four buses (from) the state (in 2012) and then we dropped down to two buses for two years and last year we got one bus.”

The 87-passenger buses will be purchased from Yancey Bus Sales and Service. Griner said the school district purchases its buses from Yancey because “it keeps the maintenance a lot simpler.”

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