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State Sen. Ritchie secures $200,000 for General Brown

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DEXTER — General Brown Central is $200,000 closer to replacing its bus fleet.

State Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie visited the district’s bus garage Wednesday to announce a state grant she secured to purchase buses and repair the garage.

“The fire at General Brown wiped out the district’s bus fleet and stuck taxpayers with a huge, unexpected bill for repairs and replacements,” said Mrs. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, in a news release.

An electrical short in a bus parked in the garage, 17704 Cemetery Road, caused a fire in the bus garage on April 13. Extensive damage was done to two of the buses, but 20 out of the 25 buses owned by the district were taken off the road due to smoke damage.

The cost to replace 20 buses and repair the garage’s roof and door could reach $3 million. Buses alone will cost more than $1 million.

For bus runs this year, the Board of Education approved a $372,600 lease for 15 buses. District Superintendent Stephan J. Vigliotti Sr. has said the lease was the “largest lease ever” for the district. Over time, the district will lease fewer buses as more are purchased for the fleet.

“By working with school officials, we were able to find a solution that didn’t place an unfair burden on our taxpayers in the district,” said Mrs. Ritchie in the news release. “I’m happy to see General Brown bounce back and hope this funding will enable them to fully recover.”

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