Board approves seat belts on three new activity buses

During the Aug. 14 meeting, the Moore County Board of Education authorized the acquisition of three new activity buses for $392,274. These buses are anticipated to arrive in eight months.

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds cover the purchase of two buses, and Transportation 706 funds pay for the third.

ESSER funds are from COVID-relief funds and, according to Superintendent Tim Locklair, can be used for capital projects like activity buses.

Seat belt funding for the activity buses will be from the superintendent’s choice of funds.

Member David Hensley said paying $10,000 for one activity bus at a time instead of all simultaneously was a legal provocation.

Chair Robert Levy said one bus at a time was all they could afford.

Member Philip Holmes said there was $2 million in ESSER funds.

“We were going to prime the pump with three activity bus yearly purchases,” Hensley said.

Concerning the activity bus rental fee, Hensley said the board needed to restructure fees for uniformity and accountability.

“Two and a half years ago, no one could explain where that money went,” Hensley said about rental fees under the former superintendent’s term. “We were told multiple times the accruals were set up, and then there was a change in office.”

In other meeting matters, the board approved extending the superintendent’s four-year contract by one year, beginning the day of the approval, Aug. 14, 2023.

The board awarded H.M. Kern Corporation the $2,616,000 contract for gym modernizations and renovations at Cameron, Highfalls and Westmoore Elementary schools.

For details on the gym renovations, listen to the video recording, beginning at the 2:36 mark here.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel journalist Stephanie M. Sellers; BS Mass Communications and Journalism, MFA Creative Writing.

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