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NCSS set to ‘go clean’ in EPA Clean School Bus program
green bus

NEWTON COUNTY – The Newton County School System (NCSS) is set to “go clean” as board members unanimously passed an action item to participate in the Clean School Bus program at the Feb. 13 work session.

As part of an effort to reduce emissions, the United States environmental protection agency (EPA) will provide $5 billion to replace existing school buses with zero-emission and low-emission models to schools nationwide. The project began in FY2022 and is expected to continue all the way to FY2026.

With this vote, NCSS hopes to be one of the school systems selected.

According to the chief operations officer, Dr. Michael Barr, the school system is set to apply for a grant that will supply 10 electrical buses for a value of up to $345,000 for each bus. The NCSS could also receive $20,000 per bus for infrastructure.

Buses would have an expected delivery time of 12-18 months.

District 2 representative Eddie Johnson wanted to know what the infrastructure money would be used for.

“The $20,000 infrastructure fee, where will that go? Are we setting up a different building or what?,” Johnson said.

According to Barr, that money would be used to set up charging stations for the electric buses. Additionally, he stated that the school system has met with Snapping Shoals EMC and they are “excited to do that work.”

District 1 representative Trey Bailey wanted to know if the grant money would cover the full cost of the bus.

“If we get the grant we will receive $345,000 per bus – how much is that the cost of that bus?”

Barr said that the grant from EPA will cover the cost of the entire bus.

The vote passed unanimously at 4-0, with chair Abigail Coggin absent from the meeting.

Three other items passed 4-0 for immediate board action, including the use of Sharp Stadium’s field and parking lot facilities for various filming productions. The board also approved personnel action that occurred in executive session.

Additionally, the board discussed a number of items that are set to be voted on during the Feb. 27 meeting.

Those are as follows:

  • The purchasing of virtual instructional services for various schools.
  • The purchasing of three types of educational support resources for various schools.
  • The purchasing of laptop computers for various schools.
  • The purchasing of CTAE supplies and resources for various schools.
  • The purchasing of AED machines for various schools.
  • The purchasing of band instruments and accessories for middle and high schools.
  • A contract relative to the construction of batting cages at all high schools.
  • A contract relative to painting across select schools.
  • The purchasing of weight room flooring for Alcovy High School.
  • The purchase of HVAC equipment and installation at Porterdale Elementary School.
  • The disposal of surplus property.