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District OKs $31K purchase of special needs bus

February 23, 2011 - Oxford Community Schools is in the bus purchasing business.

At the Board of Education meeting on Monday, Feb. 14, the board approved the purchase of a used lift bus for special needs students at the cost of $31,000.

"The primary purpose is to transport special needs students that have physical limitations that are wheelchair bound," Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations Tim Loock said.

According to Loock, the bus is just over four years old and has a little over 42,000 miles on it.

"It's in really good condition," he said. "We have a particular need at this point for a lift bus in our fleet and the price is less than half of a similar bus."

Transportation Supervisor Bruce Biebuyck said the previous lift bus had run it's course, totaling nearly 300,000 miles transporting special needs children to and from school.

He added the current fleet of buses are in good shape despite the average number of miles for each bus.

"Our average miles for the fleet are about 140,000 miles," he said. "It's not high, but I am going to say that it is mid-range."

The entire fleet, with the exception of one bus, passed the state inspection this year.

"The only one that the state police didn't think was going to be able to pass is the one that we are pushing out of the fleet," Biebuyck said.

Loock indicated plans to deal with the fleet of buses will be part of the budget discussions later on this year.

The district purchased four used buses last year through an auction for a total of $26,000. Loock said even though the buses were older, they were still in good condition and "proved to be a good addition and good value."

"Overall, the fleet is in good shape and we have two mechanics here that do a wonderful job of keeping them going and passing annual inspections," Biebuyck said.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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