FWCS to replace 37 buses

File photo

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Fort Wayne Community School Board of Trustees was recently presented a budget for 2017. Transportation funding would include replacing old buses.

Funding transportation in Fort Wayne Community Schools hasn’t been easy lately.

“Tax caps continue to negatively affect us and last year, as a result as the tax caps, we had to reduce the amount of transportation we service provided to our students to the tune of about two and a half million dollars,” Kathy Friend, Chief Financial Officer, said.

Friend said the district also had less money for capital projects, which lead to a referendum. Bus services were cut and routes were changed. But 2017 is looking better.

“The bus replacement fund is actually a separate fund but because we had some savings this year in our gas prices we were conservative in our budgeting for as last year and nobody expected that gas prices would continue to stay this low,” she said.

The schools are currently considerably behind on the 12 year bus replacement schedule. But this saving in fuel costs will allow for 37 buses to be replaced. Friend said that’s more than twice the amount of what they expected to be able to do.

“We feel good about the fact that we’ll be able to at least try to replenish what we can. We’ll still be behind about 13 buses that won’t get replaced that should be in the replacement schedule this year,” she said.