APSB committees talk buses

Jeannine LeJeune
Online Editor
Crowley Post-Signal

Whether it was declaring a spare bus with engine issues as surplus or hearing transportation reports, both Acadia Parish School Board committees saw a point of focus become the parish’s transportation situation.
On the simpler side, the Budget and Finance Committee declared one of its 1999 Bluebird buses as surplus. The bus has had engine issues and already has 173,952 miles on it.
“This is one of our spare buses, we’re not really using (much),” explained Lead School Business Administrator Justin Carrier. “We’re spending $16.29 a day in maintenance fees to STS. That comes out to about $2,900 per year.”
The bus has already been stripped for parts that could be used on other buses.
“We’ve taken off all the tires,” said Transportation Manager in Acadia Dave Schultz, adding STS – Student Transportation Specialists – continues to pull usable parts from the bus.
That recommendation by the committee passed unanimously.
During the Personnel, Insurance and Curriculum Committee that followed, Schultz reported favorable results from the past month.
“It didn’t seem like this year we’re transporting as many kids,” he said. “But, over the last week, we’ve seen an uptick in the number of bus cards and parents calling in, so I have a feeling, especially in the Church Point area, those numbers are going to go up.
“We’ve got a lot more kids up in that area.”
Schultz commended Acadia Parish for letting STS be accommodating to those who have been displaced by the flood.
“We’re transporting now, I think, about 12 kids a day (from the Days Inn) going to different schools,” he said. “The furthest one we have is some from Egan.”
Schultz also mentioned a few families in Rayne that were displaced from the Crowley area because of the flood.
“It’s nice to see that when that request comes in we’re able to do it and it’s not really a problem. I think we’re doing the right thing by bringing them to (their school) even if it adds a couple of miles to routes.”
Finally, Supervisor of Secondary/Vocational Education Stephen Duplechin presented some numbers on the activity buses schools are using.
School board member Gene Daigle requested the report toward the end of September’s board meeting.
“Several years ago, I made a request for a report each year at the September meeting (on usage of activity school buses), and I don’t see it,” he said last week. “I want to reiterate that we use accountability for everything in the school board. We spent, I don’t know, I’m not good with money, but half-a-million dollars on activity buses and we have no accountability.
“No where in an entire year do we find out anything about our activity buses. I want to know how many total miles they traveled.”
Daigle, a member of the Personnel, Insurance and Curriculum Committee, however, was not in attendance for Monday night’s committee meetings.

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