COVINGTON - The Newton County School System is awaiting the arrival of 23 new school buses.
The Newton County Board of Education approved the purchase of the buses at its last meeting.
"The buses have been ordered," said Deborah Robertson, NCSS associate superintendent for administration, on Tuesday evening.
The Board authorized the purchase of 19, 72-passenger conventional buses and four 48-passenger special needs buses from Nalley Motor Trucks' bid.
The conventional buses cost $81,908 each - $1,556,252 total - while the special needs buses came in at $92,250 each, for a total of $369,000, making the total cost of the 23 buses $1,925,252.
"Last year, we paid $77,419 for a 72-passenger bus and $88,993 for a 48-passenger bus," according to the superintendent's report that was presented to the board before the vote. "This year's cost reflects an increase of $4,489 on each 72-passenger bus and $3,257 on the 48-passenger bus."
Robertson said at the meeting that the transportation department had asked for 37 buses, but she was only requesting what was absolutely necessary.
"We are trying to be as conservative as we can," she said.
The board approved the low bid of Nalley Motor Trucks of Atlanta.
In June, the school system ordered from Nalley after Thomas Bus Sales of Georgia, a company in Jefferson, could not deliver the needed buses on time. Thomas placed a bid with the school system of $82,636 for the 72-passenger buses and $97,630 for the 48-passenger buses.
The approved buses are projected to be pad for through state bond funds for buses, state bus replacement funds and local funding.
"With the approval of this recommendation, we would have 202 conventional buses on route and 45 special needs buses on route," the report reads. "Our spares would remain the same (number). We have 17 conventional spares and 16 special needs spares, for a total of 33 spares. We have two buses hat are used for other services."
Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@ newtoncitizen.com.