May 21, 2018


Voters to decide on bus purchase proposition

April 2017

On May 16, district residents will vote on a proposition to purchase a 65-passenger, propane-powered school bus; a 42-passenger, gasoline-powered school bus and a 20-passenger, gasoline-powered school bus at a maximum total cost of $270,000.

If the proposition is approved, DCS would be reimbursed by state aid for nearly 70 percent of the total purchase price, reducing the local cost to approximately $16,200 per year for five years.

New buses = cost savings

The proposition is part of the district’s bus replacement plan that keeps the bus fleet in safe working order while reducing the cost to taxpayers. The new buses would replace older buses that are becoming costly to maintain due to frequent repairs and the need for replacement parts.

“State law requires our buses to undergo rigorous safety inspections twice each year,” said Transportation Manager Harry Folckemer. “State inspectors tell us whether the buses are running efficiently and safely, and they also monitor body and undercarriage corrosion. Road salt and other de-icers used during our northeast winters can deteriorate bus bodies and frames.”

The State Education Department recommends districts replace small buses every five to seven years and large buses every 10 years. DCS purchases an average of two to three buses each year. Retired buses are typically 10 years old and unlikely to pass state safety inspections without significant investment in parts and repairs.

What a defeat would mean

If the proposition is defeated, DCS would not be able to take advantage of the available state aid reimbursement for new buses. The district would continue to use existing vehicles, and further deterioration would potentially increase risks to students and decrease trade-in value.

60 square miles to travel

The Duanesburg Central School District encompasses 60 square miles that buses travel daily. DCS buses are also used to transport students for field trips, sporting events and other out-of-district destinations throughout the year, including summer.

Keeping students safe

Whenever possible, DCS shares transportation services with other school districts to transport students efficiently and cost-effectively. Such a practice, combined with the bus replacement program, helps keep expenses down and students safe.