Greene Co board takes first step toward new bus barn, DCs activity shuttles

Greene County schools may build their own bus barn rather than help fund a new cattle barn at the Greene County Fairgrounds. The school board is not considering adding a bus barn to next September’s bond proposal, but will set aside $68,000 coming from Grow Greene County for the project.

For many years the school has leased space from the Greene County Fair Association at a cost of $9,000 per year for the large building and another $1,500 for space in the show ring.

The Fair Association notified the board of its intent to increase the lease cost to $14,000 a year for the large building. The Fair Association also asked the school for a long term commitment to lease space in a proposed new cattle barn at a cost of $7,000 per year for the buses now garaged in the show ring. Total cost would be $21,000 per year.

“I think this is when we start talking about a new building,” board member Mark Peters said.

The possibility of having the construction class erect a pole barn, saving most of the cost of labor in such a building was discussed. The school is now leasing 20,000 square feet of space, not including the show ring.

Another agenda item at the Feb. 17 meeting was the use of funds from Grow Greene County. Grow Greene’s money came without strings, but the group asked to be notified how the money would be used.

The board directed superintendent Tim Christensen and transportation director Wayne Hougham to notify the Fair Association that the school does not plan at this time to enter into a long term commitment involving the proposed cattle barn. “If we’re going to finance a new building, it might as well be our own,” Peters said.

Christensen and Hougham were asked to prepare estimates of a suitable building and adequate storage space. Board members asked them to consider available space on the school grounds east or south of the high school.

The school will continue its lease agreement at the new rate of $15,500 (total) for the 2016-17 school year at least.

The Grow Greene County funds will be distributed in July. The money will be earmarked for a new school-owned bus barn.

In other business, the school board voted unanimously to discontinue the shuttle service provided to Grand Junction/Rippey and Scranton after athletic practices.

Christensen reported that an average of two students use the shuttle to Grand Junction/Rippey and an average of 1.5 students use the shuttle to Scranton. Drivers are paid $35 in wages on each trip, and there is also the cost of fuel and “wear and tear” on the vehicle. Christensen said the shuttles are not cost effective.

Peters asked activities director if he knew what the use was during last year’s track season. He said no high school track participants used it and he didn’t know what middle school students might use it this year. “If we get the word out now, they’ve got a month to come up with a plan,” Christensen said.

A motion to discontinue the sports shuttles immediately was made by Sam Harding and seconded by Peters. It passed unanimously. Teresa Hagen was absent from the meeting.

 

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