Bus Proposition

Voters to decide on bus proposition

On May 21, voters will decide on the purchase of five new 71-passenger school buses at a total cost not to exceed $573,670. The state would reimburse the district over a five-year period for about 73 percent of the cost. Local property taxes would pay for the remainder of the cost, which would be $152,596 – or $30,519 annually.

The district’s long-term bus replacement plan calls for seven buses to be replaced in 2013-14; however, due to the fiscal climate, F-M is proposing to replace five, decreasing costs by $229,468. The district plans to trade in seven buses, with expected trade-in values between $7,000 and $9,000 each.

Due to fewer bus routes and sports trips, the bus fleet was reduced in 2012-13 from 64 to 63 vehicles. That trend is continuing, and the transportation department is proposing to reduce the fleet to 61 buses for 2013-14.

The bus purchase is part of an ongoing plan to keep the district’s fleet up to date. Each year, all school buses must pass a rigorous state inspection. Replacement of buses normally occurs after 10 years when it is no longer cost effective to make the repairs necessary to meet those standards.

The district has found that it typically spends about $6,200 in potential repairs to a 10-year-old bus. That figure jumps to $10,500 in year 11 and $16,000 in year 12.

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