- Published on Tuesday, 27 December 2011 22:55
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Despite the high cost of operating a school bus, the Colonial Beach school system has only spent a little over a third of its transportation budget for the first half of the 2011-12 school year.
Richard Tunstall, Director of Transportation and Operations for Colonial Beach Schools, reported at the Dec. 14 meeting that the school has spent only $130,538 out of its yearly budget of $371,345.
Safety inspections for each school bus takes a hefty portion of the transportation budget. The Department of Education requires buses be inspected every 30 days and every 180 days at a cost $45 each inspection. Buses must also be inspected through the Virginia Department of Transportation every year at a cost of $51 each.
Gas and oil consumption runs pretty high, with buses ranging anywhere from 6 – 9 mpg, reports Tunstall, and the school is currently paying $3.63 per gallon for diesel.
“Oil is running about $16.99 per gallon,” Tunstall said, and the school is using anywhere from 5 – 8 gallons per vehicle.
The school currently uses Headly’s Diesel Service and Morris Garage for their maintenance and mechanical work and inspections.
Tires for buses aren’t cheap either, replacement costs are $300 per tire. “It costs anywhere from $1,800 to $2,000 dollars to equip a new bus with tires.” Tunstall said.
The school employs seven regular bus drivers, two substitute bus drivers and two regular car drivers who are subject to random drug and alcohol screenings as well as annual physical exams. To date, the school has had 44 pre-approved academic and sports related field trips.
Despite employing a large staff of custodians, the school’s Operation and Maintenance budget is also in the one third range as well, with a total budget of $646,289 the school has only used $223,501.
The school employs two full time maintenance personnel, one full time custodian, four part time custodians and one substitute custodian in its custodial maintenance department
The schedule will be re-evaluated to service the new middle school mod pod, which will be operational when the students return after Christmas break.
Verizon put projects behind at the high school and middle school mod pod.
All outside lights at the high school have been repaired except for two main lights, which were cut by a Verizon Contractor. At the Dec. 14 meeting, Tunstall said that a work order had been put in two weeks ago and still no one from Verizon has showed up to repair the lights.
New DS3 fiber conduits have been run through out the high school, middle school mod pod and the new library, but are waiting on Verizon to be hooked up.