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Indian River looking at other bus contracts

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PHILADELPHIA — The biggest school district in the north country is looking at new options for its 100-bus fleet.

The Indian River Central School District Board of Education discussed hiring a consultant to look into other bus firms at its meeting May 17.

The district has a contract with Freeman Bus Corp. A new contract would mean new management and bus drivers. Indian River owns all of its buses.

“We are in the process of possibly working with TAS (Transportation Advisory Services), who will conduct research to present to the board options for transportation for the future,” Superintendent James Kettrick said. “That study will be presented at the early October board meeting.”

No consultant has been hired yet; Mr. Kettrick did not know how much the district would be charged for the service.

No changes will be made to the contract next year. The district has allocated 10.2 percent of its total budget to pupil transportation. Within the budget is $1.7 million worth of buses to replace older buses. Buses are currently on a seven-year rotation.

The state reimburses school districts for approximately 90 percent of allowable transportation expenses. The other 10 percent falls on the district taxpayers.

“The study is not anything critical of Freeman,” he said. “The purpose is to provide possible options for the board in the present fiscal environment.”

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