The Chadron School Board on Monday approved purchase of a used bus for $39,500 but put off a decision on buying a new bus until it has more information on options.
Buying the 41-passenger 2004 Blue Bird bus with 126,00 miles addresses an immediate need caused by problems with the bus the Chadron district currently uses for out-of-town trips.
District transportation director Will White told the board the problems with the 2001 bus include the need for a ring job on at least 2 cylinders, which he expects to cost at least $10-15,000.
Having the bus in the shop forced Chadron to borrow one of Crawford’s 2 buses recently as well as take the district’s 1985 on the road even though White said its reliability is iffy at best.
The school board’s Building and Grounds Committee has recommended buying a new bus, which would likely be a 2023 model – given manufacturing backlogs. White said he received quotes of $151,000 from Blue Bird and $154,000 from Thomas.
The district could make the purchase using its general fund, the depreciation fund, or some of the federal stimulus-infrastructure funds it received, but the board is also looking at the possibility of a lease rather than a purchase.
All four options will be studied with additional information and recommendations expected at the next school board meeting.