Bus purchase delayed

Published 11:21 am Tuesday, October 16, 2012

WINDSOR – A much-needed activity bus will have to wait.

During their regular monthly meeting (Oct. 2), the Bertie County Board of Education approved a capital outlay budget amendment that will delay the purchase of a new activity bus.

The recommendation came from Interim Bertie County Schools Superintendent Elaine White, who said it was a tough decision to reach. She said the necessity of providing wireless infrastructure for testing left no alternative.

“There is no dollar change because Capital Outlay is $375,000 from the county,” Finance Officer Pearline Bunch said. “We did some project changes.”

Bunch said the amendment would subtract $100,000 from the budget for the purchase of the new bus.

“We had some other items that came up so we are recommending the purchase of the activity bus for one year and put that in next year’s budget,” Bunch said.

That $100,000 will be shifted into three areas. The first would be $6,000 to handle fuel tank improvements. Those were required by an audit from the state transportation department. It involved painting and other improvements to the fuel tanks.

The main expenditure will be $73,000 will be for wireless infrastructure.

“That will be to finish the wireless infrastructure at the elementary school so we can be prepared for online testing,” Bunch said. “We need that infrastructure to be able to do that.”

The final $21,000 was placed into a line item for emergency equipment.

“I would like to say we desperately need an activity bus,” White said. “We have two right now that are chugging along. They are not going very fast, but they get our children to where they need to go.

“We really do need that bus so we are hoping we will be able to sell those properties and be able to get one before the end of school year,” she continued. “That really is a need, but the greater need was for the infrastructure for the elementary schools.”

White was referring to the hopeful sale of properties at C.G. White School and Askewville Pre-K.

Board member Rickey Freeman made a motion to accept the budget amendments, which passed by a unanimous vote.