Belding board OKs new bus purchases


By Cory Smith • Last Updated 10:14 am on Wednesday, February 22, 2012

One of the 19 school buses parked at the Belding Area Schools bus garage, two new school buses are expected to replace two older buses, which require maintenance, next fall. — Daily News/Cory Smith

BELDING — Belding Area Schools (BAS) will be welcoming two new school buses next fall.

The school board approved a motion during Monday night’s monthly meeting to purchase buses using bond funds.

Going through the Michigan School Business Officials (MSBO) Bus Purchasing Program, the board voted to purchase the buses for $80,137 each from Capital City Bus Sales, the lowest of three bids provided to the board.

“It has been past practice of the district to replace two buses each year,” Board President Tom Humphreys said. “We have 19 buses in our fleet, which translates into keeping a bus for a little over 10 years.”

According to Humphreys, there was $500,000 in the bond earmarked for the purchase of new buses. He said last year $164,432 was spent on two new buses.

Superintendent Leslie Mount said the district was able to acquire the new buses for just more than $4,000 less of what was spent on two buses last year.

“It’s rare to be able to find lower prices from year to year,” she said. “We are very fortunate we didn’t have to spend more. This hopefully will give us the opportunity to buy one, if not two more buses next year.”

Director of Transportation Richard Brondsema said that age, number of miles and collective rust accounted for reasons to purchase new buses for the school system.

“Mechanically, all of our buses are fairly sound,” he said. “But our oldest buses are 12 to 15 years old and the cost to keep them maintained only adds up as the years go by.”

The two oldest buses will be auctioned off this summer. The two new buses are expected to join the fleet beginning in the fall of this year.

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