Springfield School Board hears complaints from residents on possible outsourcing of bus service

Springfield School District bus sits in the bus depot. The township is taking the first steps toward a new home for the district's buses. 

SPRINGFIELD — Commissioners approved a proposed ordinance on a zoning amendment that would provide permitted land use for a “public school bus operations facility.” The ordinance requires a second reading to be followed by a public hearing. Both of those items are scheduled for the meeting agenda of August 13, the regular legislative meeting that will begin at 7:30 p.m.

The concise ordinance defined the terms of the facility as “a use that permits parking, storage, serving and operation of public school buses and vans, related employee parking, and building(s) for repair and maintenance of public school buses and vans and related offices, break rooms and similar accommodations for employees and staff.”

The ordinance sets the parameters as “at least two acres with access to an arterial roadway, provided the tract has a history of prior nonresidential use.”

Neither the proposed ordinance nor discussion among board members referenced any specific site. The availability of an appropriate or available site was cited by Commissioner Ed Kelly in voting against the motion. Kelly later said he wanted more information before consideration of approval.

In a similar vein, Commissioner Paul Wechsler voted for the first reading, but indicated he also wanted more information since the zoning amendment would permit the bus facility use on any site meeting the requirements. It has not yet been made clear how many properties would be eligible, however the public hearing can be expected to answer those questions.

Going one step further, Wechsler asked if the Springfield School District had an agreement in place for any such property. Little speculation is needed for the assumption the facility would serve the district with the intent of moving all buses and vans off the new high school campus now under construction. Currently, the district has an agreement with Cardinal O’Hara High School for bus storage.

Commissioners opened the meeting with a presentation of congratulations to the Springfield High School Girls’ Lacrosse team for its District II PIAA championship. This appearance may complete deserved recognition of the team after being at the state capitol and before the school board.

In one other presentation, the board thanked Fred Huenerfauth for chairing the Springfield Lions Club’s July 4 parade and events over the course of the last 35 years. Club President Tom Citro presented a plaque and said the efforts aptly represented the Lions motto “We Serve.”

comments powered by Disqus