Local News for April 5, 2023

Local News for Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Watkins School Board Members Oppose Electric School Buses

A member of the Watkins Glen school board says he’s opposed to the state’s plan to require all districts to have electric school buses. The Odessa File reports that Keith Caslin says he will never support the switch because he thinks the buses are dangerous. Caslin is a fire inspector and spoke during Monday’s board meeting. He believes if an electric bus catches fire it will spread so quickly children wouldn’t have enough time to evacuate. The electric bus plan is part of the state’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2035. Superintendent Kai d’Alleva says he would like the state legislature to extend the deadline but didn’t say how long it should take.

Tompkins County Will Distribute Remaining Federal ARPA Funds

Tompkins County has over $500,000 of federal American Rescue Plan funding remaining. The Community Recovery Fund Advisory Committee of the county legislature decided on Monday that the 26 highest-ranked applications that did not get funding last year will be considered for the remaining funds. The committee also voted unanimously to allow each legislator to select one application to be considered that didn’t make it into last year’s top group of 80. 

"I and other legislators had no say in what came forward in the first 80. And there were some that scored poorly, much more poorly than ones I want to bring toward," said Legislator Randy Brown who represents Enfield.

No applicants that have already been awarded funds will be considered again. The committee also agreed that this time all legislators can evaluate the applications. Last year only committee members reviewed the applications and made recommendations to the full legislature.

Keep up to date on local news. Follow us wherever you get your podcasts.