Des Moines firm is winner in WACO school bus re-bid
By BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
WAYLAND — Thomas Bus Sales Inc. of Des Moines was to have supplied the WACO Community School District with six new buses for the 2013-14 school year under terms of a lease/purchase program.
WACO School Directors, during a special board meeting Monday night, reopened the bids after the district learned that one firm’s bid was not presented at the March 18 meeting during which time only two bids were considered.
Asked why the third bid was not presented, WACO Superintendent of Schools Dr. Darrell Smith, who was not superintendent of the district at that time, shrugged his shoulders and said he didn’t know.
Directors last night awarded the bus bid to Hoglund Bus and Truck of Des Moines, the bidder whose bid was not reviewed at the March meeting. The six buses will diesel-powered on an International chassis.
Hoglund’s bid included an annual payment of $61,354 for the three-year lease. The interest rate is 1.98 percent. Hoglund also will pay the district $98,000 for the six buses it trades in. The payment will either be remitted in a check to the district or a deduction from the lease. The district is allowed 17,000 miles per year per bus under terms of the agreement. The approximate delivery date of the buses is Oct. 1.
School Bus Sales and Thomas Bus Sales also submitted bids. Annual payment for the School Bus Sales’ lease was $67,997.82 at an interest rate of 2.24 percent. Delivery date was Oct. 1 and the district was allowed 18,000 miles per year per bus. Trade-in value of WACO’s buses was figured into the bid.
Thomas Bus Sales, the successful bidder in March, asked $75,105.54 per year with an interest rate of 2.349 percent interest. Allowable miles were 15,000 and delivery date was between 120-150 days. The firm also submitted an alternate quote (different specifications) with a $67,723.30 annual payment. The buses would be available in 30-45 days. Thomas would give WACO $61,400 for its six trade-ins.
In addition to having to wait longer for the buses (if the bid award from the March meeting had stood, the buses would have been delivered before the upcoming school term commenced), WACO will have to spend approximately $4,200 in repair expenses to its buses since they will be needed for at least the first month of the 2013-14 school year. WACO currently has nine buses and will keep three of the buses.
WACO is sharing a transportation director, Woody Harden, with the Washington Community School District and it is likely some of the WACO route drivers will be Washington drivers.
Director JoEllen Jepson asked Harden where the WACO buses, driven by Washington drivers, would be stored, noting that if they were housed in Washington, there would be additional miles put on the buses. “That is about 3,000 miles a year,” added board member Todd Meyer.
Harden said he wasn’t sure where the buses would be stored. “We will probably have two drivers who live in Washington drive your buses…We will be conscientious about your mileage,” he said. “Since all the buses will be the same, we could change them around (having the Washington drivers drive different WACO buses at different times) to stay within your mileage limits.”
Smith told school directors that the district drives school buses about 12.500 miles per year.
In other business during the special meeting, the board awarded a door replacement bid to Barngrover for $16,433. Three other firms submitted bids, ranging upward to $33,000.
The three exterior doors on the south side of the junior-senior high school, two doors at the west end of the practice gym and two doors on the north side of the junior-senior high school will be replaced.
Personnel contracts were approved for Kristi Rugg, superintendent’s secretary, $35,000 annual salary, 12-month contract; and elementary teachers Matt Wilson and Dakota Laidig. Wilson and Laidig each will be paid the base annual salary of $28,000.
WACO directors will meet in regular session Monday, July 15, at 6:30 p.m. in the media center of the junior-senior high school.