TENNERTON — The receipt of the third Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant to purchase school buses in Upshur County was announced at the Upshur County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, April 5.
Upshur County Schools Transportation Director Jodie Akers said, “We are very excited for our third DERA grant. In 2019, with Dr. Stankus’ help, we received the first DERA grant which replaced three buses. In 2020, we received the DERA grant again and replaced four buses. And for 2021 school year, we have five buses that will be replacing. It has been very instrumental in getting our fleet up to date. We are very grateful and appreciative.”
A representative from Senator Joe Manchin’s office was also present to speak on the matter.
“Before I bring you the Senator’s greeting, let me congratulate all of the students recognized tonight. Their hard work and dedication are going to make us proud. The reason they do a great job and achieve the milestones they are is because they have an excellent group of teachers and board of education,” said Frank Jezioro. “Greetings from Joe Manchin, United States Senator to the Upshur County Schools. On behalf of the citizens of the mountain state and as your United States Senator, it is my distinct honor to extend greetings to the board of education, the faculty, the students, the parents, and friends celebrating Upshur County School’s third consecutive Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grant. This is truly an exciting accomplishment not just for Upshur County but for our entire state. When it comes to school buses and transporting our children safety is of the highest priority. The continued implementation of new reduced emission buses will significantly benefit the health and safety of our students, faculty, and residents throughout this region for years to come. I truly appreciate the Upshur County Board of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, and everyone else responsible for making this grant announcement a reality. I thank you all for striving to make a positive difference in education. Keep up the terrific work. With warmest regards, Joe Manchin III, United States Senator.”
Upshur County Schools also provided a press release to media sources at the Upshur County Board of Education meeting which stated the following:
“Upshur County Schools will receive a $100,000 grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to support the replacement of five school buses. The EPA offers funding for projects that reduce diesel emissions from existing engines. The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant will allow for the replacement of one transit bus, one special needs bus, and three conventional buses that have fulfilled their life span based on West Virginia Department of Education transportation guidelines.”
“We are excited to be the recipient of the DERA grant for the third consecutive year. This funding will allow us to replace buses to further ensure the health and safety of our students, staff, and community,” said Upshur County Schools Transportation Director Jodie Akers.