December 22, 2014

Medina
Partly cloudy
26°F
 

Officials say Medina school buses look too rusted to repair

MEDINA — School officials parked a bus outside Medina High School before the Monday night board meeting so board members and the public could see the corrosion that has rendered many of the district’s buses irreparable.

The 14-year-old bus appeared intact from the outside. But the inside of the bus told a different story, with gaping holes in the floor where rust had eaten all the way through.

Rusted holes can be seen in the floor of Bus 12 on display Monday outside the Medina school board meeting. School officials invited the public to inspect the damage to demonstrate the need for new buses. (NANCY JOHNSON / GAZETTE)

Rusted holes can be seen in the floor of Bus 12 on display Monday outside the Medina school board meeting. School officials invited the public to inspect the damage to demonstrate the need for new buses. (NANCY JOHNSON / GAZETTE)

Rob Travis, manager of the school district’s transportation department blamed Northeast Ohio winters for much of the damage.

“Brine and salt from the roads get into every crevice and deteriorate the buses from the inside out,” he said, “Our priority is maintaining a safe fleet.”

At Monday’s meeting, the board approved spending $1,188,785 to purchase 15 new school buses from Cardinal Bus Sales Inc. of Lima.

The board also approved soliciting bids for the purchase of two additional school buses equipped to transport district students with special needs.

Board President Tom Cahalan pointed out the funds for the new buses would not come from the 5.9-mill levy approved by voters in November.

“The levy brought busing back,” he said, “but the money to buy the buses will come from sales tax dollars.”

The school district promised to restore busing for high school students if the levy passed.

In other action Monday, Treasurer David Chambers presented to the board the general expenditures for the 2013-14 school year.

The analysis of the general fund showed the district spent $61.6 million — $7.9 million less than originally projected in a five-year forecast.

Contact reporter Nancy Johnson at (330) 721-4065 or areanews@medina-gazette.com.