TOWNSEND — Regional School Committee members have unanimously approved a regular school, non-special-education transportation contract extension and are pursuing a heating oil agreement for the 2010 fiscal year.
Both are large fixed-cost items in every school budget.
Brookside Bus and Atlantic Express had locked in their costs for the past three years in what Superintendent Maureen Marshall described as a gesture of “good will.”
The deal includes the option for the district to extend for one year rather than enter into renegotiations, which School Committee members agree can cost time and money. They voted two weeks ago for the extension but had held off final approval. Since then, the percentage cost has marginally increased.
The extension increases Brookside’s cost for its 23 routes by $54,259, or 6 percent. The 15 routes by Atlantic Express increase by $50,423, or 7.5 percent.
Business manager Gerald Martin said the district is once again working with Merrimack Education Center to procure prices for heating oil. Bids will be opened Dec. 17.
“I know we bid with a lot of other schools but I can’t imagine why the cost would not be better than last year,” Marshall said.
Answering committee member Frederick Wheeler, Martin said there is no problem going out for an early bid. — Don Eriksson