APS buys three new buses

News Photo by Julie Goldberg Alpena Public Schools officials hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Alpena High School’s new Mechatronics lab on Monday. Pictured are APS officials and members of the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce.

ALPENA — The Alpena Public Schools Board of Education voted Monday to purchase three new buses from Zaremba Equipment Inc..

Mary Lyon, associate superintendent for business and operations for APS, said Zaremba Equipment of Gaylord submitted the lowest bid of $266,346. The bid also included engine sound packages and extended engine warranties of 120 months or 200,000 miles.

Superintendent John VanWagoner said it takes about 15 years for buses to reach 200,000 miles.

“Most of our buses, once they age out, are around 260 to 280,000 miles, so we’re lucky to squeeze maybe 300,000, but, generally, before you get to 300,000, the body is rotting out,” he said.

VanWagoner said that, when the body starts to rot out on a bus, the district looks into replacing that bus.

Holland Bus Co. also submitted a bid of $272,619 with engine sound package at no cost and extended engine warranties of 84 months or 200,000 miles.

Lyon said there is $256,800 in the Long Range Maintenance Fund and, with the bid from Zaremba coming in $546 over the budgeted amount, small adjustments will have to be made in other line items to accommodate the purchase.

The new buses will replace buses from 2002 and 2003.

The board also voted to send Trustee Stacey Parr to the Michigan Association of School Boards conference from Nov. 1 to 4 in Grand Rapids. The board also approved travel costs and expenses of $1,102.65.

Julie Goldberg can be reached at jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com or 989-358-5688.