B-P school board OKs bond for bus purchase

GLOVERSVILLE – The Broadalbin-Perth Central School District on Monday moved one step closer to purchasing six new vehicles after the Board of Education approved the bond needed to make the purchases.

According to the bond, the district plans to finance the cost of the purchase – which is not to exceed $388,292 – entirely by aid from New York state and funds raised by the bonds.

Voters in May approved the district purchasing six school vehicles, which had no local tax increase associated with the proposal.

The purchase will include: two 66-passenger buses; one 35-passenger bus; one 14-passenger bus; and two 7-passenger vans.

According to district officials, some of the new vehicles will replace older ones that have exceeded their life expectancy, while others, such as the smaller vehicles, will be used to address the district’s changing transportation needs, such as transporting students with disabilities to special schools outside of the district.

The district has also previously said B-P will receive about 76 percent of the purchase price in state aid, which reduces the local share to about $93,190 over the life of the five-year bond. The district will also generate some revenue from selling the old buses, which, combined with the savings on maintenance, reduced the cost to local taxpayers.

District Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson said he expects the buses to arrive at the garage in July and to be in use by the fall.

The bond documents also state the buses will have a probable usefulness of five years.

He said the district tries to rotate its buses on a five-year basis because it reduces maintenance costs, and the available aid provided by the state makes the purchases of new vehicles more affordable.

Officials previously said by the time an old bus is retired from Broadalbin-Perth’s fleet it will have accumulated more than 150,000 miles, and it’s estimated these high-mileage buses cost B-P at least twice as much to maintain compared to new buses.