Milford School Board approves contractor surcharge payment

Education, Headlines

by Terry Rogers

 

 

Milford School District approved a 13 percent surcharge to bus contractors for athletic and field trips

On Monday, March 21, Milford School District Board of Education approved a 13 percent increase to bus contractors who transport students for athletics and field trips. The increase was to address the increase in fuel costs.

“The Athletic and Field Trip bid packet was approved in June of this year,” Dr. Kevin Dickerson, Superintendent, said. “One thing that we did, If you look at the bid packet, actually from this year compared to the year before, it’s really the same. They gave us the same bids as last year. There has been a substantial increase in the average cost per gallon of diesel fuel and this has led to a substantial increase in the cost to provide these services. We are going to recommend a surcharge to our bus contractors for all student field trips and athletic transportation services throughout the remainder of the school year.”

Dr. Sara Croce, Chief Financial Officer, presented a chart that indicated the increase in diesel fuel from July 2021 to March 2022. In July 2021, diesel fuel was $3.20 per gallon and, during the first two weeks of March, rose to $5.19 per gallon, dropping to $4.95 per gallon as of March 16, 2022.

“We met with our bus contractors about this last week and they respectfully asked that we assist them during this time,” Dr. Croce said. “The percentage difference from that compared to the original quote in July is about a 13 percent increase.”

Board member Jean Wylie asked what fund the additional costs would come from and if the district could sustain the costs. Dr. Croce stated that the costs would come from the athletic fund and that the district could sustain the additional amounts although there may be a slight budget overage as these expenses were not anticipated. Dr. Adam Brownstein pointed out that even with the 13 percent increase, the contractors would still only be compensated for half their costs.

“Based on current market value, correct,” Dr. Croce said. “And they do understand there is a rolling average that’s going to take place and the hope is that gas prices will decline some before the end of the year. What we’d like to do going forward is have some type of contingency where if gas prices start to fluctuate so volatile, we would reevaluate and provide them with something throughout the year versus having them come to us.”

Dr. Brownstein stated that he appreciated what Dr. Croce was doing for the contractors.

“I personally feel like if we are going to do something like this, in an attempt to make our lives easier and to prevent having to continually revisit this issue, three months, six months down the road, that perhaps the proposal could have some sort of rolling average so we wouldn’t have to keep revisiting this issue,” Dr. Brownstein said.”

Dr. Croce confirmed that when the bid packet was compiled during the summer months, the district planned to look at the issue and determine what could be implemented to avoid this in the future.

The measure passed unanimously.

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