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A new fleet: NCSS hopes to buy more school buses

Photo by Tori Boone

Photo by Tori Boone

COVINGTON -- The Newton County School System is hoping to add some new buses to its fleet in order to move older buses into reserves.

In July, NCSS Deputy Superintendent Dennis Carpenter reported to the Newton County Board of Education that the Georgia General Assembly provided $50 million in funding with general obligation bonds in lieu of school bus replacement funds for fiscal years 2010 and 2011.

As a result, NCSS is eligible to receive $457,752, which can purchase six new school buses at a cost of $76,292 per bus or less buses with more features that cost up to $95,000 each.

During the school board's monthly meeting last week, Carpenter reported that NCSS is continuing to look at buses and specifications to determine how many buses NCSS can get.

With 256 buses in its fleet, a school system should have at least 10 percent of that number in spare buses, as suggested by the Department of Education. NCSS has 14 spare buses, but it would like to have 25 spare buses.

"We're below where we need to be with our fleet," Carpenter said. "We're trying to get there."

He added that buses have been kept in better shape by decreasing the number of field trips taken in NCSS over the past couple of school years.

Later this year, Carpenter hopes to bring an item to the board regarding the purchasing of some new buses to be used for next year.

"We need to raise our threshold," school board member Eddie Johnson said. "We should be there at efficiency level."