Newton school board OKs bus purchase

COVINGTON -- The Newton County School System will add some new buses to its 200-bus fleet this year, after already adding a few earlier in the year.

The Newton County Board of Education recently approved the purchase of three new buses using funding provided by the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission through a special bus allotment offered this year.

The departments recently developed a bond program to provide reimbursements for local school systems to purchase new buses in lieu of providing bus replacement funds for the past two school years. This is the second time this year that NCSS has been offered use of the program.

In April, NCSS purchased six buses for its fleet using the special program.

This time, NCSS will purchase three buses. The system will purchase two 84-passenger buses for $222,256 and one 72-passenger bus for $92,825, for a total of $315,081, from Rush Truck Centers of Georgia, which was previously named Nalley Motor Trucks, in Atlanta.

Dennis Carpenter, deputy superintendent of operations at NCSS, said the purchase of the larger buses is a first for the county. Larger buses reduce the need for more bus routes and could save money, he said.

NCSS was allotted $228,658.50 from the Georgia bus bond program, so it will pay $86,422.50 using capital funds, which can be used to pay for construction costs and transportation.