SHIDLER, Okla. (AP) — The developers of a new wind farm in Osage County have donated two new school buses to a rural Oklahoma district.
TradeWind Energy delivered the new buses last week to Shidler Public Schools. The idea came about after a TradeWind official attended a Shidler school board meeting to share details of the planned Mustang Run wind project in Osage County, said Laurie Roberts, a spokeswoman for the Kansas-based company. But once there, TradeWind employee Aaron Weigel heard about the district's aging bus fleet and the costliness of maintaining the vehicles.
"We strive to be active participants in the communities in which we develop, and we simply couldn't look the other way," Weigel said. "I attended a school that reminds me very much of this one, so I know what it's like when a bus breaks down on a dirt road in February, 45 minutes into your hour-long ride.
"To be able to provide the district with some relief, while playing a role in transporting this precious cargo — we couldn't think of a better Christmas gift," Weigel said.
TradeWind is in the process of developing a 136-megawatt wind project in central Osage County, near Burbank. It'll be the latest Oklahoma wind farm for TradeWind, joining the Chisholm View wind project in Garfield and Grant counties and Rocky Ridge in Washita and Kiowa counties.
According to The Examiner-Enterprise, (http://bit.ly/K9ISof ) TradeWind has committed to paying all costs associated with the lease of two buses to the Shidler district for three years.
"I guess Santa's sleigh is big and yellow in Osage County this year," Shidler School Superintendent John Herzig said.