School bus purchase program applications open Nov. 1

The Department will begin accepting applications for the Maine School Bus Purchase Program on Nov. 1. Program applications will close on Nov. 25, with no extension.

Please note that there will be no extension of the program application close date.  In the past districts requested extensions and the Department accommodated their requests.  However, extensions delayed the program process, which in turn delayed budget information critical to transportation and financial planning for all school districts which applied to the program.

In the interest of providing timely transportation budget information to districts we will no longer offer program application extensions.  If a district applies after the program application close date then their application will go in the second round School Bus Purchase Program pool for the fiscal year, though there are no guarantees any of these second round applications can be approved.

The Maine School Bus Purchase Program subsidy can be used towards the purchase of new school buses approved by the Department.  Please review the program purchase process at  www.maine.gov/education/const/trans/stages2011_10-28-2011.pdf before submitting an application.  Buses approved for purchase during FY13-14 receive subsidy during FY14-15 (the year after the purchase year).  Lease and lease-purchase approvals will be considered for state subsidy as a capital expense following the same process used for cash and note purchases, and will be subject to specific funding limitations as described in Title 20-A M.R.S. A. 5401 (15) (C).  The approval level for cash, note, and lease purchases will be determined by the Commissioner based on funds available and on the state bid price for each applicable type and capacity of school bus listed.

The program application is available on the Department website under form EF-T-17 at this link: www.maine.gov/education/const/trans/formspage.htm.

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