Croton100 stands against bond to purchase electric school bus; cites district’s ‘duping’ in 2021
A nonprofit aimed at reducing greenhouse gases is standing against a bond to purchase an electric school bus in the Croton-Harmon School District.
The districts website details how the $447,800 bond would be used to purchase a 66-passenger electric school bus and a 20-passenger mini-bus.
"We are asking voters to defeat Proposition 2 because it is environmentally irresponsible, fiscally irresponsible and it’s based on flawed decision making," said Patricia Buchanan, co-founder of Croton100.
Buchanan also opposes the bus bond because it includes the purchase of a bus that uses fossil fuels.
She says the district “ended up duping the voters" last year. Voters approved a bus bond in 2021 to purchase three electric school buses but instead the district only purchased one.
"So the voters really don't know...what the school will do," she said.
Superintendent Stephen Walker tells News 12 the district experienced challenges in the rapidly-changing grant process that made it difficult to secure additional electric buses. He said the district intends to purchase an electric school bus if this year’s bond is approved.
"In designing this proposition, we kept in mind the district's long-term commitment to environmental sustainability, as well as the impact on our taxpayers," Walker said in a statement. "We look forward to hearing the community's feedback on the budget and propositions on May 17."
Croton-Harmon School District is one of a few districts in the state that has already purchased an electric school bus. Last month, New York became the first state in the country to enact a plan to fully electrify all school buses by 2035.
Voters will decide whether to approve $500 million to electrify school buses in the state. The funding is included in the environmental bond act that will be on the ballot in November.