Purchase of van to transport small groups of students to cut Greater Latrobe rental fees |

Purchase of van to transport small groups of students to cut Greater Latrobe rental fees

The Greater Latrobe School Board this week approved the purchase of a 10-passenger van to ferry students, with the hope of saving on rental fees in the long term.

Athletic Director Mark Mears said the district rents vans when small groups of students need to be taken to events such as golf tournaments or postseason wrestling competitions.

“For example, this weekend, we had to rent two separate passenger vans to send wrestlers to Hershey,” he said during Tuesday’s board meeting. “Tomorrow, we have to send two separate passenger vans to send the swimmers to Bucknell. That’s $1,600 just for those two trips.”

The district had originally planned to purchase a used van to transport mail between buildings but instead opted to shift one seven-passenger van to do that job and buy a new 10-passenger van, said Ken Millslagle, director of operations and facilities.

“It’s more useful for the district,” he said.

The board approved the purchase of the 2015 Ford 10-passenger Transit Wagon for $29,977.80 from Latrobe Auto Group.

Mears said state law prohibits using 11- to 15-passenger vans to transport students, so the district often has to rent two smaller vans for each student trip.

Purchasing the 10-passenger van will accommodate most of Greater Latrobe’s needs and save the district rental fees, about $450 each trip.

“If we’d have had this van, we’d have just sent them and the coach, with their car mileage. We’d have saved $1,600 just right there in two weeks,” he said. “It’ll pay for itself probably in two years.”

In other business, the board approved participation in a $600,000 heating and air conditioning capital project at Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center.

Business administrator Dan Watson said during the meeting that the center’s preliminary 2015-16 budget shows a 4 percent increase from 2014-15, or about $115,000.

Because Greater Latrobe students account for about 50 percent of the center’s enrollment, the district may be responsible for about $66,000 next year, Watson said.

Most of the increase is from the center’s required contribution to the Public School Employees’ Retirement System, which accounts for $90,000 of the increase in the preliminary budget from last year, he said.

“You hear us talking about it here in our district; it’s affecting everybody,” Watson said.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or [email protected].

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.