Gifford may buy school buses

GIFFORD — The school board is leaning toward buying school buses rather than leasing them for next school year.

The board directed Superintendent Rod Grimsley at its meeting this week to get prices for three used buses to buy. The formal decision whether to buy the buses would be made at the April meeting.

The board had a lengthy discussion on the merits of leasing versus buying buses.

Board members decided buying the buses would be more beneficial for the district.

The board heard presentations from two companies in January and February regarding their lease or lease-purchase programs.

The district will be at the end of its current three-year lease contract at the end of the school year. The current buses have been leased in two separate leases for a total of five years.

Grimsley said that while leasing is less expensive, at the end of the lease "you have nothing left but to turn in your buses."

"If we buy, at the end of the loan, we own the buses and have some equity back," Grimsley said. "Plus if the buses are still running OK we will have no payment."

The lease cost the district about $26,000 a year.

The state of Illinois reimburses the district 20 percent each year for five years on the cost of a bus.

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