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Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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General Brown Central board approves transportation study


DEXTER — The Board of Education here has learned that when one door closes another opens.

This has been the case since the April 13 fire at the General Brown Central School District bus garage, 17704 Cemetery Road, and now the district will move forward with a transportation study.

“Because of the challenge with the bus garage fire, that also creates many opportunities,” said Superintendent Stephan J. Vigliotti Sr.

No one was injured in the fire, which was caused by an electrical short in one of the buses parked inside the garage. Twenty of 23 buses in the district’s fleet have been taken off the road.

During the board’s monthly meeting Monday, a $12,450 contract with Transportation Advisory Services, Walworth, was approved with a 5-0 vote to assess the district’s transportation’s needs and ideas.

Mr. Vigliotti called the group the expert in the state for that kind of service. Transportation Advisory Services has worked with General Brown before on transportation studies, most recently in 2006. Mr. Vigliotti said the company’s work this summer will serve as an update to the one completed six years ago.

Board President Tasha L. Richards asked if the study will consider previous questions and comments from board members on whether the district should lease its buses, buy them, outsource or have a combination thereof.

“They’ll take a look at all of those things,” Mr. Vigliotti said.

A proposal should be completed and presented to the board with recommendations before the 2012-13 school year.

District Business Administrator Michele A. Traynor said the $12,450 fee is eligible for 82 percent state aid, meaning General Brown Central will get $10,209 back in transportation aid for the 2012-13 school year.

Meanwhile, to maintain a bus fleet, the board also approved new 30-day lease agreements, not to exceed a total of $61,100. On April 16, the board approved a 30-day lease of 17 buses, not to exceed $53,400.

Mrs. Traynor said the district will have to form 30-day lease agreements until it can purchase new buses.

The district keeps making strides with that, and on Monday night the board adopted a resolution that establishes a reserve for insurance recoveries. Mrs. Traynor said that reserve fund will hold money the district receives from its insurance company for buses destroyed in the fire.

While there will be slightly more than $1 million in that reserve account, district officials have said that’s about half of what the district will actually need to purchase 20 new buses. Mrs. Traynor said the insurance company determined the fleet’s market value to be slightly more than $1 million, leaving a $1 million gap. New buses run about $100,000 each.

Board member John Hardy and board Vice President Michael E. Kucharski were absent.

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