Article on Going Green
This is the article that was printed in the Brighton Standard Blade on Wednesday, March 21 2012 at 4:14 am.
Written by Emily Dougherty
Approval to place on web site was given by Brighton Standard Blade on April 26, 2012.
"District inks deal to replace failing buses"
Brighton- As a warranty period comes closer into view, Brighton 27J School District's transportation department is looking to replace some of its failing buses that were purchased in the fall of 2007 and may have come with a design defect.
District staff identified 21 of the 101 buses that are in use as either past due or currently due for replacement.
At the March 13 regular board of education meeting, the 27J school board approved a lease agreement with Colorado/West Equipment Inc., an area distributor for Bluebird Buses, to purchase seven new buses in addition to the purchase/replacement of 11 deteriorating buses.
The buses will be ordered and ready to go in time for the start of the 2012-2013 school year.
According to the district, the transportation staff experienced significant mechanical difficulties with 11 buses that were put into service in the fall of 2007.
The bus manufacturer made all of the necessary repairs to the buses. It will no longer perform any more repairs to the engines of the buses because of a design defect said the lease agreement.
The lease agreement with Colorado/West Equipment Inc., provides for a trad-in and purchase/replacement of the 11 uses before the expiration of the warranty.
Sixteen of the 18 recommended buses will be propane-powered and tow will be equipped with lifts.
According to the lease agreement, the school district will be required to make four consecutive annual payments of principal and interest (1.75 percent), each in arrears.
The first payment of $395,000 is scheduled for July 15. The remaining payments will be $385,000 on July 15, 2013, $350.000 on July 15, 2014 and $319,992.32 on July 15, 2015.
The transaction, a fixed-rate, fully financing amount from which disbursements will be made to vendors, or reimbursements to the school district funds are required, according to the agreement.
The 27J board commended the transportation department for working with a fleet of buses in major need of repairs and replacement.
"Thank you for keeping those buses running," President Joan Kniss said.
Facilities manager Terry Lucero reminded the board and audience of the essence of the transportation department's work.
"Most of you have children or have been around children. So you've probably had the pleasure of transporting some of them to a soccer team or a cub scout meeting," Lucero said. "Imagine doing that for 4,000 kids on a daily basis, putting on more than one million miles over the course of a school year. We're talking about preschool kids and making sure they get in contact with their parent before driving off to middle school students on the bus and maintaining some kind of regularity, or athletes driving over a snow-covered pass at 11:30 after a wrestling match on the Western Slope."
According to Lucero, more than 4,000 students get picked up and dropped off on a daily basis. There are more than 80 different bus routes, 100 buses and 100 drivers.
Transportation staff were also in the audience. Edie Dunbar, 27J transportation manager, and Ted Chavez, the department's lead mechanic, thanked the board for investing in new uses and the continued safety of the 27J students.
"It's an exceptional crew that we have," Dunbar said.
*Just a note from the web page editor: I personally have driven the new 2013 bus and it is the most awesome bus I have driven in 14.5 years! It is so quiet that I can hear the conversations from the far back of the bus up to the front! The students may not care as much that I can hear their conversation, but, even the students liked the new bus because it is quiet, smoother riding, and the color is fun! The bus is a yellow with green stripes!Lorinda Morgan Rt 41-Driver*