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School board wants money from sale of Downtown Centre

Washington County Board of Education members are hoping a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Downtown Centre in Johnson City will assist in the purchase of new school buses.
Director of Schools Ron Dykes was given the go-ahead by the board during its Feb. 2 meeting to purchase six large buses and three small buses.
The total cost will be $622,758, with the prices of the large buses at $75,312 each and the small ones at $56,962 each.
An additional six large and two small buses will be purchased during the 2013-2014 academic year, with the purchase of seven more large buses planned for 2014-2015.
“We will be purchasing 19 large buses and five small bases over the next three years,” Dykes said.
Because school expenses make up more than half of the county’s budget, Dykes recently made an appeal to the Budget Committee for funds from the $1 million sale of the Downtown Centre.
“I requested the school system’s proportional share of what could be released,” he said. “Our depleted funds could use it, and it is certainly warranted.”
Dr. William Flanary, Director of Secondary Education, said the buses are taken off the road after 16 years of use and sold. The majority of the resold buses go to California and Mexico.
Flanary said he recently sold a bus to a location in South Africa for $1,100, despite the fact the bus had no motor and three of the wheels were missing.