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Transportation study hits bumpy road

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ST. REGIS FALLS - St. Regis Falls and Brushton-Moira central school district officials are not satisfied with the product of a recent transportation study they had done and are slated to do their own study, the shared superintendent said.

The schools recently paid approximately $175 apiece, with the rest of the cost being picked up by their respective transportation aid amounts, to have Transportation Advisory Services study the possibility of shared transportation, including bus fleets and routes.

But at a joint meeting between the two district school boards last month, Superintendent Beverly Ouderkirk said she and district officials were unhappy with the results of the study, which she said was “pretty much a regurgitation” of the data the districts provided to TAS.

Ms. Ouderkirk said the schools had decided to hire TAS to perform the study to free up officials to work on the school budget, but the document produced by TAS asked the same questions the schools had going into the survey and did not provide any answers.

“We know what the questions are,” Ms. Ouderkirk said.

She said she emailed a TAS representative to advise what the schools expected in the final version of the study document, but she was told the document presented is the final version. She said the schools paid TAS for its services but have ended the relationship.

With questions left to be answered as the schools consider shared transportation, Ms. Ouderkirk said the schools will perform the study on their own, though she was unsure when that review would start since officials are currently tied up with preparing for the end of the school year.

Ms. Ouderkirk said she has met with Shared Transportation Supervisor Darrin Jock and Shared Business Manager Susan Perkins to discuss the new study and will meet again with both officials later. The superintendent said she expects to provide information on the study at a joint meeting on June 13 in St. Regis Falls.

At that joint meeting, Ms. Ouderkirk also said the two boards will discuss the results of a survey done in both schools and communities to gather opinions of the shared superintendent position, which has been in place for nearly a full school year.

Ms. Ouderkirk said the surveys were due May 11 and the results of closed-ended questions have been collated by computer, while answers to open-ended questions are also being reviewed. She anticipates having the results ready for the next joint meeting.

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