Saturday, July 24, 2010

If We Wait Long Enough, Will It Be Free?

Make up your minds, will ya!

Residents of Wyndham Hills--and the public--were initially told that if they went ahead with a plan to demand that a Special Electors Meeting be held to reduce the required distance for busing from 2.0 to 1.5 miles would cost district residents at least $292,000.

Given the economy, that pronouncement seemed to loom as a potentially painful poke in the eye with a very sharp stick to residents struggling to make ends meet and already worried about rising property taxes.

Was it Fear Factor Sun Prairie?
Was that initial cost projection a tad elevated to suck the wind out of the public's lungs and perhaps deter the Wyndham Hill community from pursuing their quest?

As usual with this school district, we can only guess and infer because full disclosure is simply not going to happen unless a major overhaul of the school board is enacted.

Busing Costs Become A Moving Target
In the span of just 35 days, we have seen the estimates of the cost of providing busing to middle schoolers that live more than 1.5 miles (instead of 2) drop from $292,000, to $146000, and now to $89,000.

June 17, the STAR
...If the walking distances for middle school aged children are decreased, it will affect the entire school district. SPASD business services and Kobussen Bus Company project that if the distance was decreased from two miles to one and a half miles, the transportation costs would be $292,000. Costs would continue to increase by 3 percent for the next five years.

July 14, the STAR
...A decrease in the middle school busing distance would increase the district’s busing costs. For example, reducing the distance to one and a half (1.5) miles would increase busing costs by an estimated $146,000. All residents living in the school district may attend and vote at this meeting.

$146,000 was also the figure cited on a special postcard mailer received in all homes this week.

July 22, School District Administration E-Mail
From: Phil Frei>
Sent: Thu Jul 22 08:55:39 2010
Subject: News on reducing the MS milage to 1.5 miles

Kobussen ran the proposed routes for 1.5 miles. It wont take as many new routes as originally planned, the estimated cost is now $89,650. This is about 2 1/2 cents on the mill rate or $4.50 tax increase on a $200,000 home.

File:Moving target.gif
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Ya would seem that for what we pay our administrators, one would think that we could get better accuracy on the numbers coming out of the district. It just seems that with every issue, the cost is a moving target.