Thanks in part to a successful application written by Keith Whitaker for a $70,000 grant from the Department of Ecology’s “Clean Diesel” program, the Orcas Island School District has been able to order two brand new buses to replace the oldest buses in the fleet.
The first of the new buses will arrive in August, and the second will be delivered sometime this fall. They are replacing veteran buses #2 and #4 on the Doe Bay and Deer Harbor routes that have been serving OISD for nearly 20 years. Together with bus #8, purchased in 2016, the new buses will cover all of our regular bus routes.
In addition, we have been able to acquire a high quality used bus from the Issaquah School District to replace one of our failing backup buses. The bus was very inexpensive – only $3,000 – but has been so well maintained and has such low mileage that we are currently in the process of buying another one.
With the grant funds and a low interest loan – to be repaid using the annual depreciation payments from the State on the new buses – the entire cost of all of the new acquisitions will be covered and this major fleet upgrade won’t cost the District’s general fund a dime.
“Please join us in welcoming buses #10, #11, #12, and (hopefully) #13 to the fleet,” says school staff.