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Bus purchases proposed to reduce future costs

On June 9, voters will decide on the purchase of five buses: four 71-passenger school buses and one 35-passenger bus. Each of the buses would include air conditioning, and the total purchase cost would not exceed $681,556.

The district’s fleet includes 60 school buses and three Suburbans. All school buses must pass a rigorous state inspection twice annually. For the 2019-20 school year, F-M buses had a 100% passing rate.

F-M normally replaces its buses after 10 years, when it is no longer cost effective to make the repairs necessary to meet those standards.Maintenance costs on school buses increase significantly each year after a bus reaches 10 years in age.

Each of the vehicles the district is proposing to replace is at least 10 years old and has been driven an average of 152,158 miles.

Voting will take place via absentee ballot only, per New York state. If voters approve the purchase, the state would reimburse the district over a five-year period for about 72% of the cost of the new vehicles. Local property taxes would pay the remainder of the cost, which would be $38,048 annually for five years beginning in 2021-22. The district plans to auction the five buses to be replaced.

During the 2018-19 school year, F-M buses served 4,682 public and private school students, traveling a total of 850,013 miles.