CONCEPTION JUNCTION, Mo. — The new bus purchased by the Jefferson C-123 school district rolled into town last week, leaving only one more step to complete the state grant program that made it possible.
At last week’s Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Tim Jermain told the board that the district had already received its partial reimbursement for the cost of the bus.
In January, the board voted to purchase the 72-passenger bus from Illinois-based Midwest Transit Equipment at a cost of about $77,000.
A grant from the state’s Department of Natural Resources reimbursed the district for 25 percent of the cost, up to $22,000. Board members opted for a used bus with about 15,000 miles on it that was significantly less in total cost than a new one.
The grant program, which is designed to replace old school buses with more fuel-efficient ones, is paid for through the U.S. Justice Department’s settlement with Volkswagen over devices installed in the company’s vehicles meant to cheat emissions tests.
More than $14 billion were distributed to the states, and Missouri elected to use a portion of its $41 million payout for the bus replacement program.
Still left to complete the grant is to destroy the old bus, which was the district's oldest one in service. Jermain said at the board meeting last week that the bus will be donated to an individual who will destroy it for free in exchange for being able to keep the shell to use as storage.