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NCSS to add to bus fleet

COVINGTON -- The Newton County School System will add a few more buses to its fleet this year.

The Newton County Board of Education unanimously approved last week during its monthly meeting the purchase of 14 new buses using some state funding made available to NCSS by the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission.

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.

NCSS was allotted the maximum reimbursement of $381,097.50 for five new school buses, costing $76,219.50 each. The system will pay $997,261.50 out of SPLOST funds to cover the purchase of nine more buses.

With the money, the system will acquire two 84-passenger buses, seven 72-passenger buses and five 48-passenger buses. Michael Barr, director of support services for the school system, said the larger buses are ideal for short runs and will be used for athletic events too.

Dr. Dennis Carpenter, deputy superintendent for Operations at NCSS, said that this purchase will allow NCSS to put some of its 200-bus fleet in reserves and other older buses will be placed for auction.

The new buses come from Rush Truck Centers of Georgia, which was formerly known as Nalley Motor Trucks, in Atlanta.

This is the third time in two years that NCSS has been offered use of the program. NCSS also purchased three buses from Nalley in November and six in April 2011 using the bond program and paying for extra costs through capital funds.