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West River Education District to consider electric bus opportunity | Local News

TOWNSHEND — An additional school board meeting is anticipated this month after the vice chairman who serves on a task force exploring the potential for electric buses announced an opportunity that could replace diesel buses for free. 

“I’ve had a couple of meetings now with the task force people and apparently, our district has been designated by the federal EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] as a priority district for electric bus purchase,” Joe Winrich, West River Education District Board vice chairman, said at the board meeting Wednesday.

He envisions current bussing provider West River Transportation trading in its buses then owning their electric replacements, as the grant requires diesel buses to be taken off the road. West River Transportation and the district would then need to enter into a five-year contract for transportation.

West River in-person classes delayed to ensure air quality

TOWNSHEND — A new task force is taking up the topic of school buses going electric.

Winrich anticipates six or seven buses would be needed.  

“We need to connect with West River Transportation urgently and meaningfully,” he said. 

Winrich said the electric buses are worth $375,000 each and the district would get $20,000 for each to help with infrastructure costs. Anticipating that the grant application is due in the second week of August, he called for scheduling a special meeting. 

“I personally don’t see a downside to this,” he said. 

Board member Lindsey Bertram said she wants to see a presentation before voting on the project. 

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