The Cartersville City School System will be putting three new buses on the road soon.
In its first meeting of the new school year, the school board Monday night voted 6-0, with board member Floyd Braid absent, to purchase two 72-passenger buses and one special needs bus from Thomas Bus Sales for $278,875.
Of that amount, $231,660 will come from state bond funds, and the remaining $47,215 will be taken from the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax fund.
"For the first time in many, many years, we have gotten approval and funding for the state bond funds to purchase three new buses," Finance Committee Chairman Tim Chason said. "These buses are on state contract, and they are 2019 buses."
"It's been several years since we've gotten any kind of assistance like that from the state so we're excited about that," Superintendent Dr. Marc Feuerbach added.
Board members also unanimously approved buying two copiers — one for the central office and one for the primary school — from Milner for $22,162.60, which will be funded by SPLOST summer projects.
"The price is being carried over from the same price we paid in October of '16," Chason said.
The board recognized bus driver JoAnn Popham on her retirement from the school system after 12 years of service.
"I met with the transportation department last week before we started school, and I told all of our bus drivers that they are the first person that our kids see in the morning, and they're the last person our kids see in the afternoon when they leave," Feuerbach said. "They have no idea how important that job is of setting that tone in the morning and just leaving them with a smile at the end of the day."
The superintendent also said he has a "personal connection" to Popham because she was his daughter's bus driver for the past couple of years.
"Every afternoon, [she] dropped Addie off at home, and Addie always talked about her and just how sweet she was," he said. "That was special to me as a father just because you see personally that connection, so I appreciate you, and I want to say thank you for that."
After board President Kelley Dial presented her with an engraved clock, Popham thanked the principals, employees and "especially" Director of Operations Ken Paige, who was "always there for me."
"I'd just like to say Cartersville School System has been wonderful to work for," she said. "Thank you for the memories."
The school board also unanimously approved: