School District seeking help for bus turn-arounds
After Winter Strom Jonas hit late last month, the lingering effects of the storm continued to be felt for more than a week in the McCreary County School District.
While most of the county was blanketed with snow, County and State Road crews worked to clear the roads – a task that was completed last week.
But one side effect of all that plowing was the blockage of most of the District’s bus turn-around lanes, severely hampering any effort to run bus routes.
In all, McCreary County students missed eight days of school due to the weather, but Superintendent Mike Cash says that absence could have been shortened by at least two days if the District was able to run busses.
“We were prepared to go back last Thursday,” Cash said. “Most of the roads were passable, and most routes could have went, but we couldn’t turn the busses safely, so we had to miss additional days until those turn around lanes were clear.”
While there were still some snow-covered roads, Cash said the District was planning on implementing their alternative bus routes, which would ask some parents who live on those hard-to-travel roads to transport their students to a pre-determined pick-up location.
Cash stated there are 165 bus turn-arounds scattered throughout the County, mainly gravel or dirt-covered sections of the roads where school busses can safely leave the road and turn before resuming their routes.
Over 100 of those areas were covered with snow and ice due to the road-plowing efforts pushing the snow and slush into the turn-arounds, leaving piles of un-passable ice.
Seeking a solution to the turn-around issue, Cash has approached some McCreary County Magistrates, seeking their assistance.
He is asking them to consider using some of their annual Road Fund allocations to pave those turn-around lanes, which would allow snow plows to clear the routes.
He stated he has not yet spoken to each Magistrate, but hopes they will be able to use some of their funding to help the schools.
“I understand the expense, and the importance that funding for each individual District,” Cash said. “But I believe they can see the benefits of getting the children to school.”