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Bus purchases proposed to reduce maintenance costs

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April 5, 2017: Because its school buses typically become more costly to maintain after they are in use for 10 years, the Fayetteville-Manlius School District has a plan in place to replace buses once they hit that milestone.

On May 16, voters will decide on the purchase of five new 70-passenger school buses at a total cost not to exceed $609,081. Each of the vehicles proposed to be replaced is at least 10 years old and has been driven an average of 148,155 miles.

The state would reimburse the district over a five-year period for about 69 percent of the cost of the new vehicles. Local property taxes would pay the remainder of the cost, which would be $37,519 annually for five years. The district plans to trade in the five buses it wishes to replace, with expected trade-in values totally $30,000, which will be put toward the district’s share of the cost.

All school buses must pass a rigorous state inspection twice annually. For the 2015-16 school year, F-M buses had a 100 percent passing rate. F-M normally replaces its buses 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 repairs to a 10-year-old bus. That figure jumps to $10,500 in year 11 and $16,000 in year 12.

During the 2015-16 school, F-M buses served 4,468 public and private school students, traveling a total of 780,463 miles.


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