A renegotiated service contract with BK Bus Co. will save the Lonedell R-XIV School District more than $43,000 during the 2012-2013 academic year.
Lonedell’s board of education approved the new contract during its monthly meeting on April 16.
“This is a win-win situation for the Lonedell R-XIV district as well as BK Bus during these tough economic times,” Superintendent VanBibber told The Missourian this week. “Lonedell R-XIV and BK Bus will be looking at routes to see what other cost-saving measures can be accomplished.”
The new deal calls for 10 daily routes on 174 scheduled school days for $402,479.56. The current contract was for $445,979.40.
The current contract expires at the end of this school year.
According to April’s R-XIV board meeting minutes, former board President Steve Heideman met with BK Bus manager Wayne Wagner prior to the meeting to discuss the contract. After that meeting, a new contract was written with input from both Wagner and VanBibber.
“Some of the changes included a $25 reduction per day on the bus routes and a change in the base price of gas to $4 (per gallon), with the district paying an additional amount if the price goes above $4.50,” the minutes from the meeting read.
VanBibber said the rate reduction computes to a $25 per route per day savings.
Board member Brad Rucker made the motion to approve the new renegotiated contract and Heideman provided the second. After some additional discussion, the contract unanimously was approved by a 6-0 vote.
“By keeping BK Bus service, a local company, we are ensuring a continued longstanding relationship,” VanBibber said. “BK Bus employs local community members and has done an excellent job during past years.”
BK Bus Co. is located in Lonedell along Highway 30 east of the Highway N and FF intersections.
When the bus contract first came up for discussion in March, more than 50 community members attended the R-XIV board meeting to show their support for the local bus company. Because of the large number in attendance, the meeting had to be moved to the Lonedell gym.
During that March meeting, a contract extension was presented for the company to continue to serve the 300-plus student district at the same price as the current pact. However, a motion to extend it with modifications failed during that meeting as did a motion to bid out the bus contract.
Finally, a motion for the district to renegotiate the contract with BK Bus was approved.
“BK Bus was willing to continue to serve us at the same rate as before,” VanBibber told The Missourian after the March meeting. “They were willing to extend the contract at the same price. That’s what did not get the motion.”
He also said that it’s the board’s “fiduciary responsibility to look at all contracts and do what’s best for the district. There’s a lot of money involved. We’re facing tough economic times. It’s our duty to look at all options and do what’s best for our community, the students and the taxpayers.”
BK Bus Co. supplies six elementary, three high school and one special education route to Lonedell.