Northeast Tarrant

Carroll officials plan to buy buses with next bond

Carroll officials hope to replace a number of aging buses with funds from the next bond package. On June 3, teachers, administrators and graduates boarded buses at Dragon Stadium.
Carroll officials hope to replace a number of aging buses with funds from the next bond package. On June 3, teachers, administrators and graduates boarded buses at Dragon Stadium. Special to the Star-Telegram

Carroll trustees recently approved the purchase of three buses with close to $300,000 from fund balance, with the intention of reimbursing the fund from the next bond package.

At the Dec. 5 board meeting, Scott Wrehe, chief financial officer, said two 71-passenger buses were past their expected life cycle and had no air conditioning. A 2013 53-passenger special education bus has a lift that needs replacing, so administrators recommended selling the diesel vehicle and purchasing a new special education bus that runs on gasoline.

The cost for two 77-passenger buses and one 47-passenger bus with a lift is estimated at $297,000. Wrehe said the 53-passenger bus could be sold for at least $62,000.

Because it can take up to six months for delivery of a new bus, administrators recommended trustees approve a “Resolution Expressing Official Intent to Reimburse Costs of Project.”Officials now have 18 months to obtain the funds.

Officials are considering the recommendation of a May 2017 bond election, which trustees would need to call in February. They are studying a $208 million package, the amount that could be raised from the current tax rate for bond debt.

The capital needs committee listed $7.5 million for transportation needs, with most of it to replace aging buses.

Superintendent David Faltys said the reimbursement resolution allows districts to push pressing capital needs to the bond side and not have to pull money from a tight daily operating budget.

If voters don’t approve the next bond, the money would be taken from fund balance. At the end of fiscal 2015-16, the fund balance, or district savings, was about $32 million.

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