Streetsboro -- The Streetsboro City School District purchased five school buses to help replenish its bus squad. The Board of Education unanimously approved the purchases June 12.
"We all know the bus fleet is in pretty dire condition," Superintendent Michael Daulbaugh said, referring to how some of the buses are worn down from use. "At the end of the school year, we rented buses just to transport our students. Now, we need to be responsible and stay on the cycle of purchasing one or two new buses a year with our permanent improvement dollars."
Daulbaugh previously said there were 21 buses running regular routes, and 24 buses total, including the three "reserves."
The Board of Education accepted a bid June 12 from Rush Truck Centers of Ohio and Rush Truck Center of Akron to purchase five buses -- four buses for $79,452 each and one bus for $80,288 for a total of $398,096.
"By law, under a competitive bidding process, we had two companies submit bids," Daulbaugh said. "They were very close -- within a couple hundred dollars. We had our mechanics analyze the bids, line by line, to make sure the equipment that is being provided to us [is what we need]. Rush Truck Centers actually submitted a bid and three alternate bids. The alternate bids were for stock buses, which means they have them in stock.
"We actually experienced quite a bit of savings by going with stock buses that met all of our needs," Daulbaugh said. "We're going to have them delivered in time for school to start."
Daulbaugh said the five new buses were purchased with permanent improvement dollars "that were approved by our community."
"These are not general fund dollars," he said. "These are P.I. dollars used for buses and buildings. Using those P.I. dollars we had in the bank, you guys [residents] purchased these five buses. So this is quite a commitment from all of you [residents], and we appreciate that. This is going to really help us."
School Board President Andrew Lesak said the permanent improvement money has "helped us do a lot of good things for the students."
School Board member Kevin Grimm said it was also "a good idea to have the mechanics look it over because they're the guys working on the buses. They know them better than anybody else."
Daulbaugh said the schools also approved a 10-year warranty for each bus purchased, in the amount of $19,750 total, for all five buses. He said school mechanics analyzed information about the timing of when its current buses have broken down. The warranties were purchased separately from the buses.
"We felt a 10-year warranty was quite a deal," he said, adding that it would cover major replacement parts.
"We had one bus this year that had a 4- or 5- year warranty," he said. "As soon as the warranty was out, the engine blew out. Engines fail, but if we had had a 10-year warranty, [the bus engine would have been covered]. That [warranty] gives us a lot of extra protection."
Treasurer Catherine Rouse added, "Speaking with the mechanics, they said the warranty would pay for itself."
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