FD school board buys buses

The Fort Dodge Community School District approved the purchase of three new school buses for its fleet.

With three companies bidding, the lowest bid of $254,805 came from Hoglund Bus Co. of Marshalltown, according to Marcy Harms, FDCSD interim transportation director.

“They’re brand-new,” Harms said. “They’re all 77-passenger buses, but one is equipped with a lift.”

The new school buses replace three in the district’s fleet of 38.

“It’s important to keep up on our bus rotation,” Harms said. “We were due to technically get four but we cut back to three. Every year we try to replace the older ones. With the exceptions of the ones we recently replaced, a lot are from 1990 on down.”

One of the district’s new buses will come with a lift, per law, for handicapped students, Harms said.

According to Harms, The district benefits from regularly replacing older buses with newer ones.

“It’s always nice to update your equipment, but we have bus inspections two times a year,” she said. “The buses tend to rust quickly, so it saves us in repair costs through inspections and those kind of things.”

The new buses are a budgeted item in the district’s fixed Physical Plant and Equipment Levy budget. No additional funds were needed for the purchase. The recent voter approval to renew and increase the fund, though, will also benefit the district in the future, Harms said.

“I don’t think we could have purchased what we did,” she said. “If we didn’t have it, we would have had to cut back.”

The new buses arrive in July.