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Students at Dilley ISD are traveling to and from school in new buses this month after the delivery of five vehicles to replace an aging fleet, thanks in large part to a grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Funding in the amount of over $351,000 was sent by the state agency to Dilley ISD upon an application from the district to help pay for buses that will have a lesser impact on the environment than the vehicles that had been in use by the school for several years.
One of the school buses being withdrawn from active duty in the district is 30 years old. Others date from 1997 to 1999 and 2005.
The district has confirmed that the TCEQ funds, when added to a payout approved by the board of trustees for $118,000, covered the cost of five new buses. These include four 77-passenger vehicles and one 24-passenger vehicle with equipment for special-needs children.
District finance officer Pamela Bendele said this week that administrators are grateful to the board of trustees for enabling the purchase by setting aside the additional funds. Each of the new buses, she said, bears a placard indicating it was purchased with funds from the state agency.
“We believe that it is important for the district to have a safe vehicle fleet for our students on their daily school routes,” Bendele said on Tuesday, “and we are pleased to replace the older vehicles with a more environmentally friendly fleet.”
The new buses have been put into service on daily routes, as the funding agreement stipulated the vehicles must be deployed for the same purpose as the ones being replaced, Bendele said.