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Troy BOE reviews bus costs

Troy City Schools would need more than $945,000 in local funding to create and run a system-wide bus transportation program.

Cynthia Thomas, superintendent, shared cost estimates for establishing a bus system and operating it with members of the Troy City Schools Board of Education on Monday.

“We have been monitoring some concerns in our community as relates to transportation of our students,” Thomas said. “I just wanted the public to understand why we’re not bussing students at this point.”

Thomas said state law only allows school districts to receive reimbursement for transporting students who live more than 2 miles from a school or those in special circumstances, such as special needs students. And, because all federal funds are earmarked for needs other than transportation, any funding for a bus system would have to come from local funds. “Those are generated by ad valorem (property) and sales taxes,” she said.

Thomas said she used information and data from neighboring districts and the state to estimate the cost of adding a bus transportation system for Troy City Schools.

Six busses, each able to carry 72 students, would cost $561,630. Maintenance, fuel and insurance for one year would total more than $25,900, bringing the total cost for the first year to an estimated $587,585.

Operating the system would require the hiring of a transportation supervisor, at a cost of $97,024 for salary and benefits; a mechanic, at a cost of $55,104 for salary and benefits; six drivers, at $26,690 each; and a receptionist/secretary at $45,166.80 for salary and benefits.

“That’s a total of $357,437.60 for one year,” she said.

“If we did this tomorrow, all that would have to come out of local dollars, and we’re not sure at this point what we could recoup from the state,” she said. “We would have to send out a survey to parents to see who would use the system.”

Dr. Jonathan Cellon, board president, said the district is not in a position to add bus transportation right now. “I know there’s been a lot of talk out in the community and why some things are not being done, and this is for information only at this point,” he said.  “We will include it in our financial decision making moving forward.”