A separate proposition will appear on the May 15 ballot asking residents to consider a five-year lease of two 63-passenger buses.
The total cost of the bus lease would be $178,000 over a five-year period, which would be spread out among annual budgets. The board of education each year reviews the value of bus leasing versus bus purchasing.
The board adopted a bus lease strategy three years ago after struggling for years to maintain an aging fleet of buses that sometimes failed inspection due to salt-induced corrosion.
Leasing provides the district with reliable, late-model buses at a greatly reduced maintenance cost and a much higher inspection pass rate with the state Department of Transportation. For Cooperstown, 35 percent of the overall cost of a bus lease or purchase is paid for through state aid.
The district’s bus fleet and drivers meet or exceed all safety benchmarks consistently, every year.