January 29, 2013

Peru bus proposition passes


---- — PERU — Peru Central School District officials are pleased that district voters approved bus purchases.

The proposition, which asked for permission to purchase three standard 65-passenger buses at an estimated maximum cost of $110,000 each, with the total not to exceed $330,000, passed with 56 percent voter approval.

A total of 106 individuals voted in favor of the proposition, while 83 voted against it. These numbers reflect votes cast both in person and via absentee ballot.

“It’s a very good thing,” Peru Central Superintendent Dr. Patrick Brimstein said of residents’ decision to approve the purchase.

While taxpayers will pay for 15 percent of the cost of the buses, the remaining 85 percent will be covered by state aid.

Buses, like any other vehicle, Brimstein noted, have a life span; at some point, it becomes more costly to maintain an older bus than to purchase a new one.

The three new buses, which will represent about 10 percent of the district’s fleet, will allow Peru Central to phase out three of its oldest buses, ensuring the fleet remains healthy, he said.

Up until now, according to Brimstein, the district’s buses have had an average lifespan of 14 years. However, the State Department of Transportation recommends that each bus in a fleet be rotated out every 10 years.

If Peru Central is able to purchase three new buses every year, he noted, that would bring the lifespan of the school’s buses down to 11 years, closer to the department’s recommendation.

“What we’re trying to do here is put the bus rotation on a fixed schedule,” Brimstein said.

The superintendent added that the district will also look at consolidating bus runs, as well as any other opportunities that would allow for Peru Central to maximize its resources.

“We are committed to doing that with our community and with all of our constituency groups,” he said.

It will likely be a few months before the new vehicles are actually purchased, as the district will first hunt around for the best prices.

“If we can buy them under ($330,000), we will,” Brimstein said.

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