ARLINGTON, Wash. — Arlington Public Schools leaders are looking to voters to support a two-year levy on the Nov. 4 general election ballot expected to generate $1.5 million each year to replace old school buses, The Herald reports. This is the first time Arlington has run a transportation levy.
The funds would be used to buy 26 buses, Andrea Conley, a spokeswoman for the district, told the newspaper.
Nearly half the district’s fleet is at least 13 years old and fully depreciated, making the vehicles ineligible for state matching money that helps pay for new buses, according to The Herald. Without additional funding, 71% of the fleet will be fully depreciated in 10 years. So far this fall, there have been five bus breakdowns, which is more than the district has had over some entire school years, the newspaper reports.
However, the fleet continues to perform well on Washington State Patrol inspections, according to The Herald. Bus driver Carol Mitzelfeldt told the newspaper that if it weren’t for the district's mechanics, some of the buses would no longer be in service.
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