The Peekskill Board of Education has extended its current bus contract with Mile Square Transportation through June 2013 after rejecting, for the second time, all bids for a new multiyear contract.
The board approved the extension without comment during a special meeting Thursday, Aug. 2.
The one-year extension covers transportation between home and school, field trips and sports trips for the 2012-13 school year, with a cost increase based on the consumer price index.
Superintendent of Schools James Willis told reporters after the meeting that the district had hoped to reduce transportation costs through a multiyear contract but the bid process “got messy” as officials grappled with wording requirements of the state Education Department (SED). Rather than risk losing state transportation aid because of the language issue, the district opted for the one-year extension, “a clean way to handle this,” he said.
Willis said the decision had nothing to do with scattered parental criticisms of Mile Square, which has held Peekskill contracts for several years.
The board had been poised to award a three-year contract June 19 to Mile Square but, citing “concerns,” instead voted to negotiate an extension of the existing contract through the summer and seek new bids. Those bids, opened July 18, were rejected Thursday.
Willis said the district would seek clarification from the SED and start work this fall on a multiyear contract.