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Decorah School Board to explore building its own bus garage

Posted: Mon, Nov 13, 2017 8:26 PM

On Monday night the Decorah Community School Board began a process of exploring the building of a new school bus garage.  The district is currently paying $4,000 per month to Bruening Rock Products on a lease for garage space that runs until mid 2019.

There are a lot of "moving targets" in this situation according to board member John Hjelle. These include the merger with North Winneshiek, the challenges in purchasing a site (4-5 acres), as well as hopes to begin construction on a new elementary school. The Board did basically rule out using North Winneshiek School property as a primary site for a bus garage because of the travel time and cost involved, as well as having a likely chilling effect on bus driver hiring.

The Board was in full agreement that they should proceed on exploration, and Superintendent Mike Haluska will appoint a committee to address the issue. The Board is hopeful that state funding streams and recouping $48,000 or more per year in rent, could result in financing without any need for bonding consequently being a separate issue that would not negatively influence any voter sentiment about bond funding for new elementary facilities.