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School bus purchase approved by Ellsworth School Board

Purchase of a school bus was approved by the Ellsworth School Board Monday.

The 2011 International 66-passenger bus is a "basic, stock model," according to Denny Langer, the school district's transportation supervisor. Langer said the recent approach in buying buses has been to find the lowest price, yet match the existing fleet. The district mechanic's input is also taken into account.

Information provided board members showed the price of the bus is $78,882 and the extended warranty on the engine and engine electronics, plus brakes, costs $2,316. The price is approximately $2,000 higher than the amount paid for a bus bought last year, Langer said, largely due to increasing emissions requirements. He defended adding the extended warranty as "money well spent," considering today's electronics on vehicles.

Langer told the board the bus will replace a 1995 model in the fleet, though even "retired" buses are sometimes used for short sports trips and others for parts. The district puts an average of around 20,000 miles annually on its buses. Ideally, two buses would be replaced every year, he said, but because of financial conditions, recent practice has been to replace one, meaning fleet replacement is now on a 15-year cycle.

The total cost for the bus, as approved by the board, is $81,198, including the extended warranty.

Read more in the print version of the Herald Sept. 15.

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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