February 19, 2014 - By Meg Peters
Review Staff Writer
What once held the fleet of 65 Lake Orion Community School buses will now be the new home for NOTA's 18 vehicles.
The North Oakland Transportation Authority is partnering with Lake Orion School's with a three-year lease of the school's old transportation building located behind Blanche Sims Elementary.
NOTA will pay the district $1,200 a month for the lease, with the opportunity to extend it beyond the three year plan.
"It's very exciting because I don't like having empty facilities, so this is a really nice opportunity, and it is for them too," Superintendent Marion Ginopolis said.
NOTA would take over one of the bays, or about half of the storage space within the building, allowing the school district to continue housing their extra supplies.
Director of NOTA Lynn Gustafson agreed it is a win-win for both parties.
"We get to occupy a very nice facility, the location is central, there's plenty of parking, and the district has been so good to work with," Gustafson said.
Currently NOTA leases an industrial area in Oxford located at 945 Glaspie St., where additional parking would have been needed for the extra vehicles acquired over the years.
Once the district fixes up some of the windows and tiles, and the lease agreements are finalized, NOTA could be moving in as early as March.
Gustafson said this agreement couldn't have come at a better time.
"The move overall has boosted the mood of our employees, we've been a little low with the loss of grant funding," Gustafson said.
About half of NOTA's grants were cut this year, she explained, leaving them with few options.
"This year we are going to go out for a quarter-mill in August. It is the first time we've had to go out for millage," Gustafson said.
The Orion Township Board of trustees were expected to discuss the NOTA millage at their meeting on Tuesday night.