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Many students arriving at school in new buses at Potsdam

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POTSDAM - While many students went back to school last month with new backpacks, clothes, supplies and that special pair of sneakers, the Potsdam Central School District also did some back to school shopping of its own - two 65-passenger buses.

Voters last year overwhelmingly approved the purchase of the two buses 92-23. At that time it was reported the buses would cost $205,868.88.

Transportation Supervisor David C. McMartin said the district tries to purchase two new buses each year, noting the buses replaced were 2003 models with roughly 163,000 miles on each of them.

“We’ve had buses for longer, but we like to try to turn them over every 10 years,” he said, adding in an average year each bus travels upwards of 16,000 miles.

Mr. McMartin said as long as the district’s voters approve the purchase when they head to the polls in the spring he will again be buying two more buses next year.

“We’ll spec out two new buses and put it up to the voters in May,” he said, adding by the end of the year the district’s two oldest buses will have well over 150,000 miles on them.

“We try to buy two new buses each year, because by the end of this year the ‘04s’ will be up there,” he said, adding there has been a few instances were they were not able to purchase two new buses.

“There were years when they were voted down or we only bought one,” he said.

Mr. McMartin said the district’s bus fleet includes 16 65-passenger buses, two 24-passenger buses and two special needs buses, one with one wheel chair bay and a second with three wheel chair bays. Each of those buses, he said, holds roughly 18 other students.

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