Ogdensburg seeks OK to buy 12 new school buses

A First Student bus is prepared to serve children in Ogdensburg City School District. Watertown Daily Times

OGDENSBURG — Ogdensburg City School District is hoping for 12 new school buses following its budget vote in May.

On May 18, residents will vote on four propositions: the school budget that has no tax rate increase, 12 new school buses, establishing a capital reserve fund and a library referendum.

The second proposition includes the purchasing and financing of 12 school buses with an estimated cost that is not to exceed $1.3 million.

“By going with our own transportation program, we are able to purchase the 12 new buses that take into consideration our students’ safety,” said Ogdensburg City School District Superintendent Kevin Kendall. “It’ll be brand new state-of-the-art buses with student safety at the forefront.”

Through the New York State Aid reimbursement, the district will purchase the buses over a course of five years and will receive 90% of the cost back in aid. The five-year period also includes receiving transportation aid beginning in the 2021 to 2022 school year.

“We have to transport our students from home to school each day and obviously our sports teams travel on a daily basis,” Mr. Kendall said. “With our high aid ratio of 90% it just makes sense to put the district in a better financial state but to also have state-of-the-art buses that have the newest student safety protocols included with them.”

With the new buses, the district will be able to offer daily transportation of students from each Ogdensburg City School District school to the Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club.

“For those parents that want their students to go to the Boys and Girls Club after school, this will allow the district to transport those students right from school to the Boys and Girls Club each day,” Mr. Kendall said.

This proposition will also initially create between six and 10 new jobs within the district.

If approved, the district will purchase the buses on July 1 from New York Bus Sales.

Residents of Ogdensburg School District, including Ogdensburg, Oswegatchie and Lisbon residents, will have the chance to vote on the proposition from noon to 8 p.m. May 18 at the Ogdensburg Edward A. Newell II Memorial Golden Dome.

Any questions regarding this proposition, or the three others, can be addressed by contacting the district office at 315-393-0900, ext. 31901.

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