BY CAROL HICKS
Hoopeston Area school board members approved the purchase Thursday of two propane-powered school buses from Central States for $187,990.
It will be the first district in the state to buy this type of bus.
"We are going green," said Mark Eighner, director of buildings and grounds/transportation.
He added that out of 1,000 schools nationwide to participate in the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Clean Diesel Rebate Program -2012, only 30 were selected for a grant. Hoopeston was one of two selected in Illinois.
Hoopeston will receive a $50,000 grant toward the purchase of the buses, a $4,000 rebate and 50 cents back on each gallon of fuel used.
"By using the propane," reported Lisa Leigh, board member and chairman of buildings and grounds/transportation committee, "we will have a savings of $90,000."
Superintendent Hank Hornbeck said the school districts and Illinois finances were not going in the direction everyone would like them to go.
"Our finances are pretty solid right now," Hornbeck said. "We are about a year behind everyone else. We need to be creative with our finances. Next year won’t be business as usual. We will cut back on our spending, postpone some projects."
He added, "They (the state) don’t know how to solve the problem they started years ago."
In other business, board members:
Selected Valor Techologies, Inc. of Bolingbrook, for the removal of abestos from the crawl space of Maple Grade School at a cost not to exceed $67,500. IDEAL Environment Engineering, Inc. was approved as the professional engineering service to oversee the removal at a cost not to exceed $35,500.
Approved the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 District calendars, the Tri-Party Deactivation Agreement for the 2013-2014 school year with Rossville-Alvin and Bismarck-Henning School Districts, membership in the IESA and IHSA for 2013-2014, the district seniority list, and the District Bullying Policy as presented.
Learned the Golden Ruler Dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. April 23 at. Five from the Hoopeston school district will be honored.
Hoopeston Area school board members will meet April 18 at the high school library.