Bus routes being figured

by Marcie Klomp

Brian Swestka, Transportation Director for Howard-Winneshiek School District, spoke about the bus routes for the 2014-15 school year at the July 14 board meeting.
“Lots of people are calling, curious about bus routes. Getting them figured out is slower and more tedious than expected.”

He anticipates there will be two buses plus the short bus to pick up fourth grade students who are attending class in Lime Springs. Supt. John Carver added, “Fourth grade won’t have to come in here [to Cresco]. There will be exchange areas to take them into Lime Springs. There could be two buses stopping at one residence, one for fourth grade and the other for the other grades.

Swestka is getting a rough draft figured, but he still needs numbers of students who are registering.

Registration is from now until Aug. 15. Signing up early will enable the transportation director to get a better handle on numbers.

Bus drivers will call or drive the route to let families know what times students will be picked up and dropped off.

He is anticipating one bus will take go from Cresco to Lime Springs to pick up all the town kids from 7:30-7:40 in order to get to school by 7:55. There will be five stops in Lime Springs—three for the daycare kids, with the two community stops at Spring Ahead Learning Center and the community center.

The two propane buses were also discussed, included the projected savings on fuel. It was explained that on paper, the LP buses were rated at two-three miles per gallon but other districts Swestka talked to said they get closer to four. “We will stay on flatter ground at first to see how they work and maybe later put them in the more hilly areas.”

In related business, the school board voted to stay with Fencl as the propane supplier, despite K&H being two cents cheaper.

Grounds Director Larry Trende commented, “I’d recommend Fencl. They are local and were accommodating when we called them in.” Swestka agreed. “Keeping our tax dollars local is the way to go.”

When asked for a statement, a representative from K&H just reiterated that his company was the low bid.

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