Ballot includes bus replacement proposition

The 2021-22 Fayetteville-Manlius School District budget vote and board of education election is 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 18.

A separate proposition on this year’s school budget and board election ballot will ask voters to authorize the purchase of five school buses as part of the district’s long-term replacement plan.This is an image of a school bus

The buses include three 71-passenger school buses, one 71-passenger school with a luggage compartment, and one 71-passenger wheelchair-accessible school bus. 

The total purchase would not exceed $713,660. Financing for the bus purchases have already been factored into the 2021-22 proposed budget; this would not be an additional purchase. 

If voters approve the proposition, the state would reimburse the district over a five-year period for about 73% of the cost. Local property taxes would pay the remainder of the cost, which means residents would be responsible for $39,570 annually for five years beginning in 2022-23.

F-M normally replaces its buses after 10 years, when it is no longer cost effective to make the repairs needed to meet state inspection standards. Maintaining an aging school bus presents potential safety, maintenance and financial issues for the school district. The replacement plan helps maintain a safe and efficient bus fleet.

The district’s student transportation fleet includes 60 school buses and three Suburbans. All school buses must pass a rigorous state inspection twice annually. For the 2020-21 school year, F-M buses had a 100% passing rate.