South Colonie voters to decide on school bus proposition Wednesday, Oct. 14.

South Colonie Central School District will be holding a vote Wednesday, Oct.

14, regarding the replacement of seven buses.

District officials said that by replacing a portion of the bus fleet every

year, the district is able to free up money that would otherwise be spent on

repairs and restorations to older buses that would only last a few more

years anyway.

At a certain point, you have to be able to measure almost like your

vehicle at home you have to sort of determine if it s worth continuing to

put money into repairs, said Superintendent of Schools Jonathan Buhner.

Buhner said that with the replacement program the district has in place,

there are many benefits to the students and drivers that with the newer


The replacement plan has helped to maintain the fleet and student safety

and control repair costs, he said.

During this year s vote, district residents will be deciding on the purchase

of five 66-passenger conventional busses at $107,500 each; one 20-passenger

Type A Van at $49,500; and one 12-passenger/two-wheelchair bus at $70,000.

The total comes to $657,000, though the district would get $28,000 in

trade-ins for the buses it is retiring.

The estimated tax rate increase associated with the buses, which would be

paid off over five years, is $0.024 per $1,000 of assessed value for

residential properties in Colonie; $0.015 for residential properties in

Niskayuna; and $0.0196 for residential properties in Guilderland. For

commercial properties, the estimated tax rate increase per $1,000 of

assessed value would be $0.025 in Colonie; $0.016 in Niskayuna; and $0.020

in Guilderland. Parts of the district span Niskayuna and Guilderland.

According to Director of Transportation Peter Tunny, the buses that are

being retired are, on average, 13 years old and might not pass state

inspection standards. Thirteen years is about the lifetime of the buses

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