Green River Star -


District approved for new bus


April 11, 2018

A last-minute approval by the Wyoming Department of Education allows Sweetwater County School District No. 2 the chance to purchase a special needs bus and may help other school districts with similar needs.

The district’s board of trustees approved a request to purchase a wheelchair lift-equipped bus for Harrison Elementary’s special needs program. The bus will not cost more than $144,000 and will be completely reimbursed.

Pete Brandjord, the district’s business manager, said the WDE approved their request for an emergency bus purchase Monday, one day prior to the trustees’ meeting.

According to Oscar Barton, the district’s transportation supervisor, said the district’s request had been denied twice before Monday’s approval. Barton said the bus would fulfill a need within the district because the current bus they operate for Harrison’s special needs group isn’t adequate.

Barton said he thinks the final cost will come under the $144,000 approved because he plans to have the bus shortened by 2 feet.

Trustee John Malone believes the precedent will help other school districts with similar needs, saying it’s harder to deny an emergency special needs bus purchase when the WDE approved a request from Green River.

“We can’t be the only ones who need this,” he said.

Other business

The trustees approved the purchase of a 2018 Ford Fusion for the driver’s education program. Barton said the costs for a new car was low enough to justify the purchase and chose the vehicle based on its size, safety rating, fuel economy and availability.

The vehicle will cost the district $20,330.18 and replaces a 2000 Crown Victoria with more than 150,000 miles on its odometer.

Trustees approved a request from Green River High School’s speech and debate team for $3,745 to help cover costs associated with taking the team’s qualifying members to Nationals this summer.

The decision was not unanimous however, with Ann Rudoff voting against the request. Rudoff said she supports speech and debate, claiming the decision to vote against was difficult, but said a discussion needs to take place with the team regarding Western Wyoming Community College, Rudoff’s employer.

“Western is not an ugly place and Western has a good speech and debate team,” Rudoff said.


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