By Max Hrenda
Although the county school board presented a fully balanced budget, a need to safely transport its students required the request of additional funds from the county’s Budget Committee.
On Tuesday night, during a budget workshop, Director of Schools Kevin Ward asked the county to restore $105,000 to the school system to purchase two Type B buses to transport students across Smalling Road Bridge.
“This has come up, not at the last minute, but in the last few weeks,” Ward said. “We’re coming to you with a balanced budget with a request for $105,000.”
On April 8, an inspector from the Tennessee Department of Transportation advised the county’s Highway Committee that the Smalling Road Bridge should not be traveled by Type C buses, which can weigh anywhere from nine to 14.75 tons.
Type B buses, on the other hand, weigh approximately five tons, and would stay four tons below the bridge’s weight limit.