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South Butler County School Board to vote on retaining transportation contractor W.L. Roenigk

| Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

The South Butler County School Board will vote on continuing a transportation contract with W.L. Roenigk Inc. for the 2013 to 2019 school years.

“Based on past history and services, we moved ahead, with the blessing of the transportation committee, to continue discussion on an agreement with Roenigk,” said Jason Davidek, board secretary.

The six-year contract will freeze rates for the first year at about $260 a vehicle, and is guaranteed not to raise rates more than 3 percent for the next five years of the agreement.

The board secured provisions in the agreement for adding technology to the buses at the direction of the school district.

Some examples of this potential technology are GPS units, video cameras on the buses as well as alternative energy vehicles.

The agreement allows for advertising on buses.

The district has used Roenigk transportation for the past 10 years.

The board will vote on the agreement on Wednesday.

The district is looking to change banks.

The district's current bank, Citizens Bank, no longer offers interest for the district accounts, has increased fees and may not comply with Act 72 in the future, something all districts need to do under Pennsylvania School Board code. Act 72 makes certain rules regarding district finances.

Debbie Brandstetter, director of business affairs, recommended First National Bank after reviewing bids from four banks.

Board member Richard Sefton argued that the board should go with First Commonwealth Bank because it is local; there's a branch on Main Street in Saxonburg.

Brandstetter said First Commonwealth would cost the district an extra $9,000 a year because it does not provide checks and some other services that First National offers for free. She added that First National has better investment opportunities.

Superintendent Dale Lumley said that while Brandstetter is making the recommendation, it is up to the board to decide which bank to go with.

The board will vote next week to allow the Walk at Knoch program to be held at the high school and middle school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from Dec. 1 to March 31 during inclement weather. Walkers should get an identification badge from the school's police office.

Kate Wilcox is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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