Committee receives update on sale closing

ALPENA – Diane Block, assistant superintendent for operations and Title 1 director for Alpena Public Schools, told the property committee about closing on the sale of a 1.44 acre parcel of APS property with Meijer Inc. during a property committee meeting on Tuesday.

“The Meijer paperwork has been signed and sent back to them,” Block said. “The closing is scheduled for Thursday, but it will be done through the mail, so I don’t know when we’ll get the check back. It should be on its way soon.”

The property committee referred to the finance committee’s recommendation to add the sale revenue to the budget and into the long range fund for the purpose of purchasing a new bus.

“My official recommendation is a school bus,” Block said. “I think we are at a critical place here with our busses.”

During the yearly bus inspection done by the Michigan State Police earlier this year, APS had a bus red flagged, and was forced to take it out of service. Other buses have signs of wear and tear in different areas that eventually will need to be replaced or refurbished, so the committee believes investing in a new bus will be a benificial long range investment. Superintendent Brent Holcomb elaborated on the idea of a placeholder investment such as a bus.

“What will happen a year from now is the revenue will go away, but the placeholder can’t,” Holcomb said. “The buses that will eventually come offline are all around the same age class, so we need to look into the future to plan ahead for transportation.”

Committee members agreed to use the money to purchase a new bus, but members discussed different ways to address the bus issues, such as repairs and leasing. The committee will be bringing more information back to discuss the bus issues at its meeting in January.

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.