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Adding bus possible, but drivers still needed


The Grand Coulee Dam School District will have enough money in its transportation fund to order another new bus next year, according to the financial report school board members heard Monday night.

Already the district has two new 35-passenger buses on order, each costing $63,463, and delivery of those buses could occur almost anytime, bus mechanic George Davis stated Tuesday.

Davis is filling in as supervisor of bus personnel since Bill Kemble resigned for health reasons.

The report stated that the transportation fund will have $144,000 in it by August 2017. That would be enough to pay for a large bus if it is determined that a large bus is necessary.

Davis said that the two buses now on order are overdue and he expects to hear soon how much longer the district will have to wait for delivery.

The transportation fund receives money from the state on the basis of a 10-year depreciation schedule. A new bus generates 10 percent of its cost each year for 10 years, enabling districts to renew their fleets on a regular basis.

Superintendent Paul Turner told school board members that there is a need to add two buses to existing routes that are often overcrowded. These could be in Nespelem and Grand Coulee routes. All the district needs is bus drivers.

Turner said that since Kemble resigned, training of drivers is being covered by a Creston resident, who is authorized to train drivers.

The problem has been that there is a shortage of drivers, despite the fact that the district has been advertising for drivers for some time.

Turner stated Monday that the district has received some responses, but qualifications have yet to be determined.

Davis said that yet another new bus could be ordered this year, with delivery specified for next fall.

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