School Board approves 3-year propane fuel contract for buses

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – The Indian River County School Board approved a 3-year contract to keep certain school buses running on propane fuel.

The move is expected to save the School District more than $12,000 each year of the contract.

Schools Superintendent Dr. Harry La Cava told the School Board members that it is staff’s belief that having a contract that sets the price for the propane fuel would be better than paying the going rate each time a bus needs to be fueled up.

“It’s not only green,” La Cava said of the use of propane instead of gasoline, “it’s doing the job we had hoped it would do.”

The School Board unanimously approved the contract without discussion. School Board member Karen Disney-Brombach was absent, representing the School Board in Tallahassee.

Under the terms of the contract, the School District will pay a fixed mark-up of 29.5 cents per gallon of fuel – nearly 18 cents cheaper than the current state contract price the district has been paying.

The cost difference is expected to equate to a $3,150-annual savings for the district.

The contract is with Ferrellgas, which will provide two storage tanks at the district’s Transportation Department at no charge. District staff will be allowed to pump the fuel into the buses, according to School District documents.

Though the district anticipates having to spend about $5,500 to make electrical and concrete modifications for the propane tanks, district staff expects the cost to be recovered in the savings over the life of the 3-year contract.

Also, under the contract, the School District will be eligible for an extra 50 cents per gallon Federal tax credit, according to district staff. That savings is expected to be about $9,000 annually.

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