February 25, 2015

Wilton School befriends bus mechanic

By Cheryl McCormack

Since mid-January, the words "bus" and "repair" tangoing in the same sentence has troubled Wilton Public School's staff and administration.

Business manager Jenna Kirchmeier recently sat down with members of the Wilton School Board to review that lengthy list of bus repairs and the bills that came along with them.

A motor assembly had to be replaced on a release break, amounting to a $2,000 expense. Next up was an $1,100 oil leak, followed by an injector replacement and the installation of a new block heater, as the old one went kaput. All of the repairs were unexpected and not budgeted for. Lesson learned? Next year, money will be set aside for this particular expense.

Superintendent Barb Kady informed the board that she is developing a school bus rotation schedule, to spread out the wear and tear.

At their Feb. 19 meeting, the board also approved the purchase of a 2015, 14-passenger school bus, in the amount of $51,700, from Harlow's Bus Sales, Bismarck. Although not budgeted for, funds are available to buy the replacement bus.

Kady said she is currently writing up a Clean Diesel Grant, with the hopes of receiving 25 percent back on the new bus purchase. If approved for the grant, the district must permanently disable/scrap the old bus, a 1998 14-passenger model.

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