Fort Plain voters OK bus proposals

FORT PLAIN – Voters in the Fort Plain Central School District approved three referendums Tuesday.

The first referendum – which allows the district to create a bus/transportation reserve fund that will be used to buy buses, vehicles and other transportation equipment – was approved 115-46.

Voters also approved the transfer of $409,631 in a capital reserve fund to the bus/transportation reserve fund by a vote of 116-48

Finally, voters approved the purchase of two buses by a vote of 114-49.

“We’re very happy the community came out and supported the district,” Superintendent Douglas C. Burton said. “We’ve now created a way to stave off future tax increases for bus purchases.”

Burton said the new buses will replace two aging buses, each around 10 years old, that need to be replaced to ensure student safety and avoid costly repairs.

According to a news release, none of the approved plans required an increase in taxes, but district leaders needed voter approval in order to create or change reserve funds or to purchase the buses.

The newly created bus/transportation reserve fund (not to exceed $2.3 million) can only be used for the purchase of school buses, vehicles and transportation-related equipment.

The district currently manages transportation services for the merging St. Johnsville Central School District through a contract. St. Johnsville would not have to pay for any of the new buses, Burton said.

Under the approved plan, the district will move from a five-year to a 10-year replacement schedule.