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The Cleburne ISD transportation department has received a grant award of $1.096 million through the Texas Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program. The district plans to purchase 14 new route buses, with 80 percent of the cost to be covered by the grant funds. 

A grant award totaling more than $1 million will be putting a lot of new buses on the road for Cleburne ISD.

The district will be receiving $1,096,197 through the Texas Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program, which is being administered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The CISD board of trustees gave approval in June for Transportation Director Chad VanWinkle to submit an application to the grant awards program, which is open to the state’s public entities. 

“I’m so appreciative of Dr. VanWinkle taking the time to do all the homework and research in applying for funding, then staying on top of the process,” CISD Superintendent Kyle Heath said. “This a huge win for CISD and our students.” 

The grant award will fund 80 percent of the district’s purchase of 14 new buses, which will go a long way in addressing replacement needs within an aging route fleet. Under application guidelines, the grant award must be used to replace school buses model year 2009 or older.

“We will be able to put student riders in new buses this year, depending on when they arrive from the factory,” VanWinkle said. “This grant award will have a great impact, in ultimately replacing half of our route fleet, many which are at least 17 years old. These aging buses will be replaced with clean-running diesel vehicles, model 2021 or newer, which will be more friendly to the environment.”

The 71-passenger buses the district will be ordering average $98,524 each. With the assistance of the grant award, the order of 14 buses will cost the district less than the purchase of four.

“This is the equivalent of purchasing 14 buses and only paying for four, in receiving this grant award,” Heath said. “These new buses will last at least 15 years and will serve lots of kids. This is such a great opportunity for our district and transportation program.”

It will take 18 months total to receive delivery of all the buses planned for purchase. Under funding guidelines, purchases must be made within five years from the time the grant award is received.

 

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