Buckeye Valley School District officials say they can free up cash flow to fund other projects by leasing school buses, instead of purchasing new ones for the 2016-17 school year.

The board Tuesday night approved a lease-to-purchase agreement for three new Blue Bird school buses with Equipment Lease Purchase Finance LLC for $276,810.

“By financing the buses, it frees up cash that can be used to pay for other projects,” Treasurer Kelly Ziegler said. “We’ll roughly pay $70,000 per year for four years. At the end of the four years, we’ll own the buses.”

Ziegler told the board that by leasing the buses, instead of purchasing them, the district could afford three new buses. “Usually we’re purchasing two buses per year,” she said.

Ziegler told the school board Tuesday the district is expecting delivery of the buses in two weeks. She had heard from the bus manufacturer that it is behind in delivery because more schools are now purchasing buses.

Ziegler said the district’s oldest bus is a 2004 model and is driven very little. Most of the buses in the district fleet are 2008 or earlier.

Total mileage for the district’s fleet in the 2014-15 school year was 537,380 miles.

Ziegler said that once the new buses are delivered, three of the district’s older buses will be pulled from the fleet.

“This is the first year the district has leased buses,” Superintendent Andrew Miller told The Gazette earlier. “By leasing the buses, it keeps the fleet up-to-date.”

The board also approve the hiring of several individuals recommended by Miller.

They include:

• Kristy Tallman as a student monitor in the middle school.

• Karen Lenart as a cook in the middle school.

• Jennifer Honeter as a cashier in the high school.

All three will be employed at a rate of $14.50 per hour.

The board also approved the hiring of three certified tutors, all at $19 an hour:

• Amy Scott and Samantha Johnson at BV East.

• Lindsey Fitzsimmons at BV West.

The board also approved the employment of two bus driver trainers: Jody Horner at $21.95 per hour and Clay Tuggle at $19.06 per hour.

The board also approved a list of certified and classified substitutes and volunteers.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2016/08/web1_DSC_4096-1.jpgZiegler D. Anthony Botkin | The Gazette

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2016/08/web1_DSC_4087-1.jpgMiller D. Anthony Botkin | The Gazette

By D. Anthony Botkin

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D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.