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Some In Pottsgrove Riding New Buses To School

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – Some Pottsgrove School District students will ride to their buildings in style during the 2017-2018 academic year … or, at least, in the newest buses bought for the district fleet. Their stylishness may be a matter only of interpretation and taste.

The Board of School Directors, during its June 27 meeting, authorized the purchase of three new 72-passenger school buses at a total cost of $245,547. Like many who buy a newer vehicle, the district also offered trade-ins; three, one from 2002 and two from 2005, for which it earned $7,800 in value and reduced its net cost to $237,747.

The three large buses are being replaced on what the district labels as its “normal replacement cycle.” Its annual budget usually contains a $250,000 line item for bus replacement, subject to board approval, according to Business Administrator David Nester.

Directors also agreed to buy a fourth bus, an 18-passenger wheelchair-capable van that will replace one which Nester reported was “totaled” in a vehicular accident more than a year ago. Insurance proceeds from that accident were applied to reduce its $59,749 cost. He also noted the district was “experiencing a need to supplement our wheelchair capacity” to accommodate more students.

Nester admitted he had hoped to get more for the trades, and acknowledged initially he had negotiated a slightly better deal. While continuing to transport students, and before he could get them to the dealer, they developed mechanical problems. Their trade value plummeted as a result, he explained.

The purchases were awarded to lowest responsible bidders Wolfington Bus Company Inc., for the 72-passenger buses, and Dan Brown Bus Sales for the van. They are expected to be delivered before schools open, Nester said.

The use of current and replacement of future buses became a debate topic during the meeting, related to the 2017-2018 budget. Board Vice President Al Leach argued the district could skip the bus replacements this year as part of a plan to further lower the budget’s ultimately approved tax increase of 0.39 percent. A majority of his colleagues disagreed.

Related (to the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors’ June 27 meeting):

Photo from Google Images

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