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More propane buses eyed for Halifax school fleet

SoVaNow.com / September 11, 2017
Halifax County school officials are proposing the purchase of five more propane fuel school buses to add to a fleet that is increasingly powered by the clean-burning gas.

Members of the Halifax County School Board are set to meet tonight in Halifax with the school bus purchase plan on the agenda. The open meeting will take place around 7:30 p.m. at the second floor meeting room of the Mary Bethune Complex. A closed session will begin at 6 p.m.

Last week, Superintendent of Schools Mark Lineburg told Halifax County supervisors that he will ask trustees to approve a seven-year financing plan for the five new buses at a cost of some $392,500. Clean Cities, a program that encourages the switch to biodiesel and propane-powered buses, is also providing grant funding for the five buses, although an amount has not yet been announced.

The Board of Supervisors agreed to spend $431,250 on ten new propane buses from Volkswagen, which will fund the remainder of the buses’ purchase price under a legal settlement stemming from the German automaker’s recent emissions scandal.

Lineburg will also discuss setting a budget timeline for the coming year. School Board chairman Karen Hopkins is expected to name members to serve on a budget committee that will start work early in the new budget, which must be in place by spring. Lineburg also will ask that a facilities study committee be appointed to start work on facilities assessment of county schools.

Maintenance Director Jay Jennings is also expected to update trustees on a pending energy performance contract for schools that was being considered earlier this year.

Assistant Superintendent Valdivia Hall will report on the opening of school, and Lineburg will discuss enrollment prospects for the year. Debra Woltz will present a report on Career and Technical Education.

The School Board will also recognize student learning at Sydnor Jennings Elementary School, and HCHS Principal Mike Lewis will talk about the high school’s recent JROTC award.



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