Calcasieu Parish School Board votes on Solar and Buses

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 10:04 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Tonight the Calcasieu Parish School Board voted unanimously to put air conditioners in 60 of its Class C buses.

“I know I’ve got a lot of feedback from bus drivers and some temperature pictures of thermometer readings on the buses up to 135 degrees during the summer and my only regret is I just wish we could do them all now, but we’re working towards that,” said Tony O’Banion, CPSB District 10.

“Using the ESSER Funds is a great way to use it, we have to use by September next year anyway, so I think this is a great way and it’s gonna benefit the kids for the future to come and not just immediate,” said Patrick Pichon, CPSB District 5.

CPSB also voted 7 to 6 to deny tax exemption to the Sulphur Solar Project that would create a solar farm in Sulphur.

“We as the school board weren’t informed of the project, I know some other entities were,” said O’Banion. “I think we’re giving these tax exemptions too much; this one was one permanent job, at $50,000 a year and I just don’t think that’s worthy of a tax exemption.” O’Banion continued, “And we need the money for our schools; I have a small business, I pay all of my taxes, I don’t get any breaks and small businesses are the majority of the tax revenue for the parish.”

The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury will also vote whether or not to give tax exemption to the Sulphur Solar Project at this Thursdays meeting.