Board extends bus contract with Lamers
By Kevin Boneske
ASHWAUBENON – The contract the Ashwaubenon School District has with Lamers Bus Lines will continue through the 2023-24 school year.
The Ashwaubenon school board agreed Wednesday, Aug. 8, to extend the contract another year to continue a six-year rolling agreement. Along with that extension, the busing rates for 2019-20 will increase by 2.5 percent.
District Business Director Keith Lucius said having a six-year rolling contract with Lamers allows the company to finance equipment replacement and maintenance in a cost-effective manner.
“Their biggest cost increase right now is labor,” he said. “With a low unemployment rate, their costs are running much higher than 2.5 percent. It’s a very fair contract offer, and it allows our partnership to continue.”
Lucius noted a 2.5 percent rate increase was previously approved for 2018-19, while the 2.5 percent hike for 2019-20, for which there will be no impact on the current budget, will be on top of the rates to be charged for this upcoming school year.
He said the district is working on eliminating one bus route, so that change could result in less than a 2.5 percent cost increase for pupil transportation.
Lucius said the rates are set based on the type of route and bus used, such as a rate of $250 per day to have an 84-passenger bus pick up and then later drop off students on a route.
In addition, Lucius said the contract includes an escalator and de-escalator clause for fuel costs that monthly can adjust the rate amounts up or down depending on whether the price of fuel increases or decreases.
Out of $900,000 the district has budgeted for transportation in 2018-19, Lucius said he estimates about 90 percent of that is to cover the busing contract with Lamers.