Drivers make push for modular at bus garage
Clay Community School (CCS) Bus Driver Lisa Stevenson advocated for herself and fellow drivers during the school board Thursday evening.
Stevenson attempted to persuade board members to vote in favor of placing a modular home on the current bus garage location to replace the temporary transportation department trailer.
"This building would more than double the size of the current leased trailer and have a more workable floor plan. If the board votes to do this tonight, the new office space could be ready by the time school starts in the fall," Stevenson said.
The office is used for dispatch communication and bus routing.
"We feel that placing a modular home on the current location is a reasonable solution to an issue the board has been spending valuable time and money looking into for way too long," Stevenson said. "This building would finally solve the zoning and space issues of the leased trailer and also allow the transportation office to be located on the same property as the other transportation facilities including the bus lot, garage and the fuel bays."
The former office was condemned and torn down.
Then, the City of Brazil's zoning and planning office gave the school corporation permission for a two-year contract for a mobile trailer office on Depot and State streets.
However, the structure is temporary and the city wants a permanent structure.
"The office staff and the drivers have dealt with a very small office space as best they can, hoping that a new office space would soon be available. This was almost three years ago," Stevenson said.
CCS transportation Director Frank Misner previously told The Brazil Times, there is barely enough room to walk around in the office.
"During the day, there are usually not more than three or four people at the office, but before or after a route, we may have 20 people," Misner said.
"Most (drivers) come into the office to wait a few minutes before leaving on their routes in the morning and afternoon, and in the winter time these few minutes are longer to allow the buses to warm-up," Stevenson said. "Many come in the office while their buses are being serviced or having minor repairs being done in the garage. If the office is moved to a different location from the bus lot, this waiting space will no longer be available to the drivers."
Despite Stevenson and pleas from other bus drivers to make an immediate decision, CCS School Board member Ron Scherb convinced the board to table the issue until a later date.
Scherb said he didn't want to make a decision in haste or vote during the meeting, have it defeated and not be able to have the option later. If a motion is defeated in the voting process, it can't be revisited for an entire year.
The board voted unanimously in favor of tabling the issue.
Brazil Planning Administrator Stacy Gibbens and the city granted the school corporation a one-year extension on the office trailer so board members could have more time to figure out the best solution for the problem.
The extension lasts until June 30, 2012.
School Board Vice President Tina Heffner requested getting appraisals for other suggested properties, such as the American Legion.
Each property has to be appraised by two different companies and the maximum price the school corporation can offer equals the average of the two appraisals.
Board members expressed concern because some members speculated each appraisal could cost up to $4,000 each.
"This process could take several months. It takes about four to six weeks for the appraisal, 30 days for it to be approved by the board and then you have to add on the time it takes to renovate because every building associated with the school corporation has to have fiber optics installed," Director of Buildings and Grounds Tom Reberger explained.