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Board delays vote on bus garage land

Orchard Park School Board members have put off a vote on buying property for a new bus garage.

District officials had hoped to have the proposition on the ballot May 18, but there still is work to be done on the proposal.

"We were not able to meet the legal deadlines," said Jeffrey Petrus, assistant superintendent for business. But he added the district is moving forward on the project. "We knew it was going to be a tight timeline to meet that May deadline."

The district is looking into buying about 10 acres on Southwestern Boulevard and moving the bus garage and district offices there.

The proposal to buy the property from Sahlem's Roofing and Siding at 2260 Southwestern Blvd. for $3.35 million and renovate it for a bus garage and district offices must be put to a public vote.

The existing bus facility behind the Middle School in the Village of Orchard Park was built in 1947, and is not large enough to store all of the district's 78 buses.

The project would be funded through state building aid, as well as revenue from selling or renting the Baker Road administration building and additional revenue from leasing space in the new facility to Fisher Bus Service. The district also would save the cost of leasing the buildings and grounds building at 6145 W. Quaker Road. Buildings and grounds workers would move from there to the existing bus garage behind the Middle School.

Petrus said the district still is completing the State Environmental Quality Review Act requirements. He said Orchard Park has until the end of December to go forward with the sale.

There will be two propositions on the ballot May 18, one for the 2010-11 budget, and the second to buy buses and a van. Petrus said the district will use state transportation aid and reserve funds to pay for the buses.

Also May 18, residents will select two candidates for three-year terms on the School Board.

e-mail: bobrien@buffnews.com

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