Dayton school board members clash over decision to buy or lease buses


A Dayton Public Schools finance committee meeting Monday evening got heated after members disagreed about how many new school buses to acquire and how to pay for them.

Finance committee Chair Joe Lacey decided to step away as chair for this issue, because he disagrees with the committee’s recommendation to buy or lease as many as 115 school buses.

DOWNLOAD OUR FREE MOBILE APPS FOR BREAKING NEWS AND WEATHER

“I don’t agree with the position that the finance committee is taking,” the school board member said.

But board member Adil Baguirov said it makes much more sense to lease or finance 110 to 115 new buses. He said this will remedy safety risks and will be a better deal for taxpayers.

“I am a proponent of using the power of financing or leasing to afford a lot of buses at once,” he said. “We have a very old fleet of buses.”

The finance committee proposes leasing or financing 110 to 115 buses, instead of buying 30 new buses, which was the district’s original plan. The district has 200 buses, which have an average age of 14 years old.

MORE: Busing problems plague Dayton schools

The district’s oldest bus is 27 years old.

The district budgeted $2.6 million for 2016-2017 to buy new school buses. The district would be able to acquire about 30 new buses.

But Baguirov said it is cheaper and more advantageous to finance 115 buses at once, instead of replacing 30 buses each year.

Depending on what financing option the board chooses, he said, the annual cost to the district could be between $1.1 million to $2.1 million.

The length of financing period could be five to 10 years. Baguirov said the cost of new school buses is expected to increase significantly in coming years, so this would be a wise long-term investment.

Lacey said he disagrees with this approach and asked to step aside as chair of the finance committee when this proposal is introduced.

The chair of the finance committee must present the resolution to the full board.

“I am not advocating for this, because I think I’ll vote against it,” he said. “I think it’s too many — I don’t think we need 115 buses.”

Lacey said he also does not think it is wise to commit the district to such a sizable purchase at this time.

He said the proposal is an overreaction to news coverage and complaints about the condition, age and other concerns about the buses.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

The transition continues: What they’re saying about the new Montgomery County Fairgrounds
The transition continues: What they’re saying about the new Montgomery County Fairgrounds

Plans for moving the Montgomery County Fairgrounds from its Dayton home of more than 160 years “died about 10 times,” said Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley. But on Saturday, officials brought to life the fairgrounds’ new location, which may also help revive Jefferson Twp. “It took five years of pretty hard work,&rdquo...
New program offers ways to tackle parenting’s toughest issues

A program hosted by Cincinnati Children’s Liberty Campus aims to give answers to some of the toughest issues facing parents. Cincinnati Children’s Ages & Stages program is a monthly event series for parents, and some of the topics that will be featured later this year are the opioid epidemic and how it affects children, depression and anxiety...
PHOTOS: UD students hang signs for move-in weekend
PHOTOS: UD students hang signs for move-in weekend

Students are already moving back to campus at the University of Dayton and with them come the sheet signs. Throughout the student neighborhood, students hang signs from the front of their campus houses. The signs are typically made with paint and bed sheets. The signs have long been part of move-in at UD and some students display them during other...
Demonstrators gather in Centerville, police keep protesters safe
Demonstrators gather in Centerville, police keep protesters safe

"Diversity is Strength” was written on one of the signs demonstrators held up this afternoon outside the Centerville Municipal Building. Although the gathering was small, the city of Centerville was prepared to protect protesters from the Greater Dayton chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice. The group was taking a stand against a...
Butler County residents rise up to take communities back from heroin
Butler County residents rise up to take communities back from heroin

Local residents, upset by the negative impact the “heroin epidemic” is having in their communities, are taking an active role in combating the issue, an initiative applauded by law enforcement. “It takes everyday people to do this,” said Rodney Muterspaw, Middletown’s police chief. “People say, ‘Where is the...
More Stories