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Platteville board holds off on bus contract extension
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The Platteville School Board is considering bidding out its school bus contract when the contract expires in 2015.

The school board decided not to vote on a two-year contract extension with Stratton Buses of Cuba City Monday night.

The contract extension would have included a 1 percent increase for 2012–13 in exchange for the two-year extension.
Director of Business Services Art Beaulieu said Stratton requested the two-year extension because the company plans on buying four new buses.

“Russ is local,” said Beaulieu, who added Stratton was looking for either a 2-percent yearly increase or a two-year extension. “Any of the other bidders that would be able to handle this size of contract — this is not a four-bus contract — would be Warco [from Bloomington] or First Student or from Madison.”

But school board members Steve Obershaw and Eric Fatzinger both said the school district should bid out the contract.

“We bid for buns,” said Obershaw. “It’s a hell of a lot less money than this.”

Stratton runs 12 regular routes and a special education route, and provides buses for field trips and cocurricular activities.

Stratton Buses has had the school district bus contract since the 2005–06 school year. Stratton Buses took over from Faherty Bus Service after Faherty exited the school bus business.

School board member Heather Connolly asked why the high school football team is bused from the high school to UW–Platteville’s Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium for games.

“We considered that issue really hard this year … and we came to the conclusion that cutting that doesn’t save enough money to deal with the parking issue” at the stadium, said high school principal Jeff Jacobson.

The school board approved contracting with Southwest Health Center for athletic training services, which will result in what Valenza called “significant savings” and “significant benefits to the district.”

The school district will pay SHC $8,000 for the services of an athletic trainer who will be shared with the Cuba City school district. The school district previously paid for an athletic trainer on a per-hour basis.