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Middleburgh Bus Vote November 12

Written By Editor on 11/5/13 | 11/5/13

While voters are heading to the polls in Middleburgh today to vote for a variety of town and county offices, residents of the Middleburgh Central School District will head back next Tuesday to vote on whether to approve the purchase of three additional buses at the estimated cost of $270,000.
From the Middleburgh Central School District website:
 On Nov. 12, 2013, Middleburgh Central School District residents will vote on a special bus proposition for one 66-passenger school bus, one 48-passenger school bus, and one wheelchair school bus, totaling $270,181.
The district receives 75.2 percent in state aid on both the principal and interest for bus bonds. That means the estimated cost of the bus proposal for a district resident with a home assessed at $100,000 would equal a total of $37 during the five years of the bond.
The vote will take place from noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 12, 2013 in the high school gym lobby.
The district currently has 31 buses and has not purchased or leased any new buses for the last four years and has reduced the size of its fleet from 36 to 31 buses. District buses drove a total of nearly 366,000 miles during the 2012-13 school year, down from 416,000 in 2010-11.
"Our maintenance costs continue to increase as we try to keep the older buses meeting very stringent NYS DOT standard," John Waldron, MCSD head mechanic.
Ten years is considered to be the useful life of a school bus in New York State, where the use of corrosive materials on snowy and icy roads accelerates rusting in vehicles. The district currently has two buses older than 10 years, three that are 9 years old, and four that are 8 years old.
"The standards our buses need to meet to satisfy NYS DOT are some of the most stringent in the country. The cost to our district to meet these standards on our older buses increases at an accelerated rate as they age," Waldron said. "There comes a point where the District needs to consider  whether we are putting more money into a bus than it is worth."
Most school districts, including MCSD, operate on a ten-year bus replacement plan. However, as the district has not purchased new buses in the last four years, it will take an additional ten years of annual bus replacement before the district has a fleet of buses that do not include any that are older than the recommended 10 years.
Voting on the proposition is open to anyone age 18 or older who is a U.S. citizen and has been a resident of the district for 30 days.
Absentee ballots can be picked up from the district clerk between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, except Columbus Day.
Completed applications must be received by the District Clerk by Nov. 6 if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter or Nov. 11, if the ballot is to be delivered personally to the voter. Absentee ballots must be received by the District Clerk not later than 5 p.m., on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
State aid is expected to cover 75.2% of the cost, with the remainder averaging $37 per year for a house assessed at $100,000 during the five year life of the bond.
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