Three bus propositions to go before Fort Plain
voters on Feb. 12
On Tuesday, Feb. 12, residents of the Fort
Plain Central School District will vote on three separate
To create a reserve called the
bus/transportation reserve fund that would be used to buy buses,
vehicles and other transportation equipment;
To transfer $409,631 in capital reserve
fund to the bus/transportation reserve fund; and
To spend no more than $245,000 in surplus
fund balance to buy two full-sized buses.
Voting will take place in the Harry Hoag
Elementary School gymnasium from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
None of the propositions would require an
increase in taxes, but district leaders need voter approval in order
to create or change reserve funds or to purchase the buses.
“These three propositions are part of the
district’s short- and long-term transportation plan,” said
Superintend Douglas C. Burton. “They would save the district money
and create a sensible vehicle replacement schedule without adding to
the taxpayers’ burden.”
The first proposition asks voters to approve
the formation of a bus/transportation reserve fund not to exceed
$2.3 million. This would not require additional taxes. Instead, the
district would use surplus fund balance to partially fund the
reserve which could only be used for the purchase of school buses,
vehicles and transportation-related equipment.
The balance of funding for the
bus/transportation reserve fund would come from voter approval of a
second proposition that would allow the transfer of the remaining
$409,631 in a capital reserve fund.
In the third proposition, voters will be asked
allow the purchase of two buses using money the district already has
in reserve. That means the purchase would come at no cost to
“This is money (in the capital reserve fund)
that has been accrued from previous bus purchases that we want to
roll over,” Mr. Burton said.
The district—which currently manages
transportation services for the newly-merged St. Johnsville Central
School District—routinely replaces buses after a certain age to
ensure student safety and to reduce the cost of repairs. Under the
new plan, the district would move from a five-year to a 10-year
The referendum also helps the district address
an Office of the State Comptroller’s finding that the district’s
unappropriated fund balance exceeded the state limit of 4 percent.
Designating surplus fund balance to the bus/transportation reserve
fund brings the district into compliance and meets a growing concern
of how to fund buses in the future.
“By using this plan, the fleet requirements of
the district could be met for the next 10 years without affecting
the local tax rate,” Mr. Burton said.