Meet the Candidates Forum and Budget Hearing, Thursday, May 4, 2017 starting at 7:00 p.m. at the Junior Senior High School
*Revised on April 20th to clarify fleet mileage and lease mileage allowance.
Eldred School District Proposes Cost-Neutral Transportation Lease to Upgrade Aged School Buses
When District voters go to the polls on Tuesday, May 16, they will be asked to weigh in on a proposed lease agreement to replace 14 large school buses and two mini-buses, one of which is equipped with wheelchair access.
The proposal, which is listed on the ballot as Proposition 3, asks voter permission to enter into a five-year lease agreement at a total cost of $1,405,000. State Aid will reimburse approximately 43 percent of the lease cost. Budget reductions related to repairs, fuel, parts, tires, and lubricants, as well as revenue earned by selling the existing District-owned vehicles at a public auction, would cover the balance. This funding strategy results in a cost-neutral proposal that requires no borrowing.
Age, high mileage, and the current condition of the fleet drove the decision to replace the existing buses. Ten buses are 2007 or 2008 models. Nine have over 90,000 miles, with one clocking in at 143,739 miles. Half of the fleet is rated in fair or poor condition, with two buses currently out of service and another experiencing daily mechanical issues.
This leasing opportunity provides new, energy-efficient buses. The agreement also includes a bumper-to-bumper warranty, replacement parts, and summer service.
“The Eldred vehicle fleet travels over a quarter of a million – or about 273,657 – miles a year. Approximately 208,620 of these miles are related to student bus routes that will be served by the leased buses,” said Ruth Luis, School Business Administrator. “Safe, reliable, and efficient vehicles are essential to day-to-day operations.”
Under the proposed lease terms, each vehicle has a suggested annual mileage allowance of 15,000, and there is no financial penalty for exceeding this level. In good faith –and as good fleet management practice– the district intends to monitor and rotate bus usage to maintain a consistent level of mileage among the vehicles.
A lease is proposed rather than directly purchasing the buses because of financial considerations. “Buses are expensive, and big ticket purchases create spikes in the tax levy, especially for small school districts like Eldred,” explains Ms. Luis. “The lease agreement presents us with an opportunity to improve the safety and reliability of our fleet without increasing the tax levy.”
If the lease proposition is approved, the District will closely monitor the agreement and evaluate its effectiveness. A cost-benefit analysis will be conducted to help determine the best course of action for future District transportation needs. “This insight will be used to create a comprehensive strategic plan for the future,” says Ms. Luis.
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For the 5th year in a row, the Eldred Central School District has been named a Best Community for Music Education!
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Welcome to Eldred Central School
Home of the Yellowjackets! Eldred Junior-Senior High School is the place to be! Situated in the southern part of Sullivan County, New York, Eldred Junior-Senior High School offers a unique, individualized school experience. Eldred is an all-regents high school, whose students are among the top performing in the nation. After school, Eldred is bustling with athletics, clubs, and performing arts groups. George Ross Mackenzie Elementary School was built in 1995 on land belonging to George Ross Mackenzie. Our elementary school is located in the southern part of rural Sullivan County, New York near the Delaware River. There are 360 students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.