North County school buses won’t have to travel for fuel

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – School bus drivers transporting students in the northern part of the county won’t have to travel to the Gifford area to fuel up.

Instead, a mobile fueling system will be set up, allowing some 35 school buses gas up at Sebastian River Middle School three times a week. A fueling truck will be dispatched to the school to fill up the buses gas tanks with diesel fuel.

School Board members unanimously approved the $26,000 contract with SMF Energy Corp., the only company to bid on the contract.

School Board member Matt McCain questioned why only one firm responded to the district’s request for proposals.

He said that he found the seeming lack of interest from companies interesting. McCain added that he would have thought more firms would be looking for the work.

The School District staff “find this much more economical” than having the buses travel to the Transportation Department site on 41st Street, Schools Superintendent Dr. Harry La Cava told the School Board.

Even though the contract will cost the district $26,000, the price would be offset by time of the bus driver, wear and tear on the vehicle and other factors, according to the district’s purchasing director, Richard Chuma.

“Fuel would be a constant” regardless of where the buses fueled up, Chuma said.

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