DILLONVALE - "When you really need a bus tomorrow."
For the first time in three years, Buckeye Local School District students can look forward to riding on a new school bus as one will be purchased and entered into service quickly as the need for a new vehicle was put before the board Monday on the basis of being an "urgent necessity".
This specific designation means the situation warrants bypassing the standardized bidding process timetables which can easily require several months to complete.
T-L Photo/KIM LOCCISANO
SCHOOL OFFICIALS in Buckeye Local examine one of the district’s buses. Because of the aging fleet in the district, school board members are taking action to purchase a new bus immediately in the wake of a recent breakdown of an older bus.
The need for the new route bus is immediate, according to the district's head mechanic, Rob Spence.
Spence brought details of the situation to the board at Monday's meeting. He also had prepared information covering purchasing power options involving the potential to save on major repairs and associated costs by taking advantage of opportunities to access the remaining value of some vehicles in the greatest need of replacement and of currently available favorable pricing opportunities.
The need for the action had been brought to a head as a result of the 1992 Bluebird International 65 person capacity bus with 370,372 miles having blown its transmission last week, according to Spence.
It has been at least three years since the district added any newer vehicles to a fleet which is expected to cover routes totaling more than 2,000 miles per school day.
Spence, with assistance of Buckeye Local School District Treasurer Dana Garrison, prepared information about potential purchasing opportunities available through a resource of OMERESA which ends in the immediate future.
"Fourteen of our 28 buses have more than 200,000 miles on them," Spence offered, noting only "spare" buses should be those above that mileage mark.
Those buses have mileage totals individually ranging from 370,372 to 207,544.
Board members okayed the immediate bus purchase being acted on, and further supported a recommendation to follow through OMERESA resources in order to purchase five other new buses over as many school years.
Spence expects the district to see a favorable financial situation develop when it comes to bus purchases and re-sales or trades and their impact on the major cost of repairs which annually totaled between $100,000 and $110,000 in recent years by the district as considerable efforts were made in house to keep the buses in safe working order.
On a related note, final details of the bus route information for the coming school year will be communicated to parents before the end of the school year. This follows an intensive effort to iron out previous problems in the transportation plan which became apparent at the start of this school year when the duties were under the hand of a person no longer employed by the district.
The next regular meeting of the Buckeye Local School District Board of Education will be held May 21, beginning at 6 p.m.at the administrative offices in Dillonvale.
Loccisano may be erached at email@example.com.