Despite a state fuel crisis, the Madison County School System expects to have enough diesel to keep its buses running throughout the month.
But until the dearth in Georgia ceases, Madison County schools superintendent Dr. Mitch McGhee expects this to be a week-to-week problem.
“We were going two weeks to two weeks, but now as this thing crunches down on us, it’s week to week,” he said.
Buses have had sufficient fuel this week, and the system has secured special shipments of 2,800 gallons and 4,000 gallons to help sustain the diesel supply.
Madison County Schools, which run 73 bus routes a day, burn between 2,500 and 3,000 gallons of diesel a week. Typically, Madison County buys shipments of 4,000 gallons from a supplier in Northeast Georgia to receive a bulk rate.
But a special order had to be placed this week since Madison County’s usual supplier couldn’t provide diesel for next week. However, the school system expects to pick back up with its usual supplier with a shipment next Friday (Oct. 10).
“We should be set for the month assuming we get our regular shipment a week from this Friday (Oct. 10),” McGhee said.
As the fuel shortage has lingered, the word from the state has grown less reassuring McGhee said.
“A couple of weeks ago, they were telling us, ‘hey well be fine, in a week or two we’ll be fine,’” he said. “And now, nobody is making any promises. They’re telling us we won’t get back to normal for weeks, and we really don’t know what that means.”
Madison County certainly isn’t the only school searching for diesel.
Rumors circulated Monday that one area system was down to just one day of fuel supplies left.
While Madison County is better off than some, McGhee said the fuel shortage is definitely a problem for schools.
“It’s better than day-to-day, but it’s a mess,” he said.