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PAGE8LONDONDERRY TIMES ◆


JANUARY 12, 2012


School Board Awards Bus Bid to Goffstown Trucking T


KATHLEEN D. BAILEY


LONDONDERRY TIMES ————––––––————–◆


he school bus ven- dor will remain the same for the next


five years. The Londonderry School


Board voted 5-0 to accept a bid by STA Goffstown Trucking to continue to provide bus service to the district from 2012 to 2017. Business Manager Peter Curro presented the bid and the other three bids for the contract at the Tuesday, Jan. 3, School Board meeting. Curro said the current contract with Goffstown Trucking expires June 30, 2012. In mid-October he sent out Requests For Proposals for a new con- tract, with a deadline of Nov. 18 for submissions. He received inquiries from six or seven ven- dors, he said, and four formal proposals by the due date. In reading the propos-


als, Curro said, he was surprised to see how low Goffstown Trucking's bid was. "The other three were about the same, but theirs was very low," he


said. He met with repre- sentatives of the firm to ask whether the contract was sustainable. When staff members assured him they could do it, he said, he determined "to ask the board to allow the staff to begin negotiations with Goffstown Trucking." For grades 1-12, STA


Goffstown Trucking sub- mitted a bid of $44,073 per bus for Fiscal Year 2013, gradually escalating to $49,124 per bus in 2017. The other bids were from First Student, $53,388 per bus, 2013, $58,932 per bus, 2017; Durham, $51,660 per bus, 2013, $58,144, 2017; and NACSB, $54,558 per bus, 2013 and $61,405 per bus, 2017. The total cost of the buses for grades 1-12 from STA was estimated at $1,542,555, with the next lowest bid at $1,808,100. For kindergarten buses,


STA was a little higher, Curro said. The STA esti- mate was $413,046 per year, FY 2013, escalating to $458,779 in 2017. Competi- tive bids were First Stu- dent, the lowest at $359,982, 2013 and $397,374, 2017.


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Durham submitted a bid of $484,185 for FY 2013 and $544,953 for 2017, and NACSB submitted bids of $511,336, FY 2013 to $575,510, 2017.


But the overall picture, he said, still made STA the company of choice. The kindergarten buses


are a separate fleet, Curro said, because kindergar- ten is on a different sched- ule. The 1-12 buses use a three-tier system, bring- ing home first high school, then middle school, then elementary students, he said.


After talking with Regional Manager Greg Stinson, interviewing the other three vendors and talking with other school districts, Curro said he determined the contract offered by STA was sus- tainable. Board member Ron Campo asked about buses for athletics, noting there had "been a problem" in the past with not enough athletic transportation. Curro said the proposed contract called for keep- ing four buses for sports, but he noted the district now owns three mini- buses that can be used. Curro said the sports


buses and other details could be negotiated with STA if the board approved the contract. Those de- tails include possible use of seat belts and installa- tion of GPS devices, he said.


Curro had asked for pricing for a GPS option to track the location of each bus during runs. That would cost the dis- trict an additional $25,830 per year, he said, and would consist of reports to Terminal Manager Chris Escort to relay informa- tion to parents, but would not allow parents to track the bus runs themselves. Curro said he would negotiate with STA for portable GPS devices, to aid drivers when they are transporting students to another town or when there's a substitute driver. "Goffstown is willing


to provide two or three mobile GPS devices," he said. "If a driver is taking children to Keene, he can punch in 'Keene Middle School' and get direc- tions."


As for seat belts,


"We're not there yet," Curro said. The total cost of installing a three-point seat belt system in all


buses would cost the dis- trict $353,871. Curro rec- ommended passing on the belts because the belts could cause bodily injury while students are riding, it would be diffi- cult for a bus monitor to free younger children in the event of an accident, and seat belts would require more monitors on buses. Also, he said, a dif- ferent bench seat would be required.


Lap belts are not an option, Stinson said, not- ing that research has showed them responsible for head and spinal in- juries. But the standard bench seat is 39 inches wide, 33 inches for each of three students. To install belts it would have to be 15 inches per stu- dent, "and altering them


would mean a significant cost," he said. Curro said STA offered


to provide audio feedback devices as part of its stu- dent monitoring system. These would be provided free, he said, and would expand the current single camera per bus to three cameras and include audio as well as video recording.


This addition would


require a series of public hearings, as it is a policy decision, Curro said. The board directed


Curro to continue negoti- ating the details of the contract, with Campo ask- ing him to see a compari- son of the pros and cons of seatbelts, and to inves- tigate adding one more bus for sports.


Planning Commission Meeting Cancelled


KATHLEEN D. BAILEY


developers of Woodmont Commons, and staff mem- bers of the Southern New Hampshire Planning Com- mission (SNHP) sched- uled for Jan. 4 was can- celled.


A


SNHP Executive Direc- tor David Preece said the


LONDONDERRY TIMES ————––––––————–◆


meeting between principals of Pills- bury Realty, the


meeting was cancelled due to the fact that the Woodmont application had not yet been accept- ed by the Londonderry Planning Board. The ap- plication acceptance has been postponed until a third-party consultant is chosen. Preece said the meet- ing will be rescheduled after the consultant is named.


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