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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

School Board continues to discuss bus garage options

Friday, November 13, 2009

Frank Misner
During the Thursday evening meeting of the Clay Community School Board of Trustees, the decision for a permanent location for the bus garage continued to be discussed.

In December 2008, Indiana Insurance stated it would no longer insure the creamery building, which housed the transportation office and storage facilities for maintenance supplies. At that time, the corporation began leasing a trailer to provide office space for Transportation Director Frank Misner and his workers. The bus hut, where the repairs and maintenance are done on school buses, is insured.

Members of the administration put together eight options for consideration to the board. The options included moving the transportation department to land in the Jackson Township or Van Buren area, purchasing the Brazil City Coal Yard, staying at the current location, purchasing the Dodge dealership located on United States Highway 40 or purchasing the Romas Trucking facility on State Road 59 and the Wallace Property.

During Thursday's meeting, there were only three options remaining -- moving to land in the Jackson Township or Van Buren area or staying on the current lot.

Moving to Jackson or Van Buren would increase the transportation fund operating expenses. The recommendation was to hire an architect to review the current transportation site to determine if it is feasible to build a bus garage on. There would be no construction, only an approval for the study. The board voted 5-2 with Ted Jackson and Forrest Buell opposing.

"We don't want to get to the point when Indiana Insurance came in and told us they won't insure us," Supt. Dan Schroeder said.

"We have to do something now," Building and Grounds Director Tom Reberger added.

Concerns were expressed over possible OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) compliance at the bus garage.

Terry Barr
"As a board member and a member of the community I am absolutely appalled that we have allowed people to work in the conditions that they have worked in, in the kind of building they have worked in for as long as they have and I think it is a shame that we have allowed it to happen just because no one has made us do any different," board member Terry Barr said. "I also want to commend everyone that works there for making our buses pass safety standards year after year and we take it for granted and it's been done working under conditions I wouldn't want to work under."

The possibility of staying on the current lot also caused unease amongst some of the board.

"From my opinion, I'm not against a bus garage, I don't think that site is the best place to put it," board member Brian Atkinson said. "I think we need to put it some place where there is a bigger piece of property that isn't going to be stuck in town."

Other board members acknowledged they had heard the same concerns addressed within the community.

"There is not a good answer to this," Misner said. "We are trying to do what is best for the safety of our employees and the students."

Jennifer Kaelber
"I think we put to much into one option that we wanted and didn't work out and now were grasping straws to make a temporary solution," board member Jennifer Kaelber added. "There has to be a better permanent solution."

After more discussion and commending the Transportation Department for their work, Barr asked the administration to look at property, the costs to acquire the property as well as financing around North Clay Middle School and Northview High School.

During future agenda items, Jackson said what many board members were thinking.

"I'll just say publicly the reason I voted against it is I feel we are just OK to sell ourselves short and there is no doubt it can be worked out," he said. "I'll live with whatever the board wants to do."

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