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updated: 4/17/2014 5:24 PM

One fewer bus in proposed Geneva school budget

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The Geneva school district plans to sell back 26 full-size school buses and buy 25 new ones in a proposed 2014-15 transportation fund budget presented to the school board's finance committee this week.

The committee is reviewing fund budgets to prepare a proposed budget to present to the full board in June.

District officials propose spending $7.41 million for transportation, including $2 million on the new buses and security cameras. It expects to receive $1.64 million when it sells the current buses back to the company from which it gets the buses.

The district uses the buses for two years before selling them back. It buys half its bus fleet each year.

It also has smaller buses, and some buses for disabled students, that it purchases and keeps.

Salaries for the transportation director and transportation supervisor will decrease, as the current director is retiring. The current supervisor is being promoted to director, but will be paid less.

It also expects to spend $50,000 less on midday route drivers, because it will start having full-day kindergarten in the fall. Officials expect most kindergarten students will be enrolled for a full day.

The committee also reviewed the operations and maintenance fund budget, which projects $10.17 million in expenses. Included in that is $279,200 for technology items and $10.17 million for capital improvements.

Donna Oberg, the district's assistant superintendent for business services, said next year the district is due for a 10-year required life safety inspection. Items in the capital improvement plan include adding bullet-resistant film on first-floor windows at Geneva High School, as well as installing a Bluepoint alert system at the school. Bluepoint boxes are similar to wall-mounted fire alarms; when pulled, they alert a Bluepoint dispatcher to call police, and activate a warning system inside the building. It was developed by Elgin businessmen after the Sandy Hook, Conn., school shooting.

The committee will review the budget for the education fund, the largest fund, in May. It expects to present the full budget in June, and have the board vote on it in July. The fiscal year begins July 1. School boards have until the end of September to adopt a budget.

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