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Frenchtown Schools awarded grant to replace bus with more efficient one

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FRENCHTOWN, Mont. - The Frenchtown School District will get a new school bus that runs on propane, thanks to a grant from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

However, there’s a catch. Frenchtown Schools has to send in a video of an old diesel bus being crushed at a junk yard to show it’s off the roads. 

Superintendent Randy Cline said only certain counties could even apply for the grant -- those with poor air quality. Missoula County qualified. 

The DEQ grant is for $20,700 to replace a 2006 Blue Bird bus. The school will pay the remainder of the total purchase price. 

Cline said they’d already decided to buy a new bus when information on the grant came out in October. 

Frenchtown transportation director Marsha Dilworth and transportation mechanic Jon Peterson applied for the grant. 

“What the grant wants you to do is buy a new, cleaner performing bus. So what their idea is is to get buses that are older, that are less efficient, that cause more air pollution, off of the road,” said Cline. 

He said if they just traded the old bus in the school could get $3,000 to $4,000 for it. With the grant money they receive five times more toward a new bus.   

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