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Voters to decide on bus replacement proposition

On Tuesday, May 16, New Hartford Central School District residents will decide on a school bus purchasing proposition at a total cost not to exceed $683,077. The proposal includes the purchase of three 66-passenger buses, one 30-passenger bus and one 7-passenger suburban.

The proposed new bus purchases would replace a total of four buses; three 66-passenger buses and one 30-passenger bus, each of which have an average of 12 years of service and 100,000 miles.

The state will reimburse the school up to 74 percent of the cost of the new vehicles. The district plans to sell/trade-in four buses with an expected total trade-in value of $15,000. The local share for the remainder of the cost would be approximately $173,000.

The ideal replacement cycle for district buses is 10 years, when it is no longer cost effective to make the repairs needed to meet state inspection standards. Maintaining an aging school bus presents potential safety, maintenance and financial issues for the school district. After 10 years of service, bus maintenance costs increase by 10 to 20 percent and trade-in values decrease exponentially.

New Hartford buses transport 2,500 students daily to 8 public, private and parochial schools, and travel 443,000 miles annually.

In addition to the school bus purchasing proposition, voters will decide on a $62,818,363 proposed budget for the 2023-24 school year and elect one candidate to serve a five-year term on the board of education.