By Brian Quinn
WELLSVILLE — There is little-to-no change expected in the operations and maintenance and transportation budgets at Wellsville Central School for next year, school board members were told Monday night.
The overall operations and maintenance budget for 2014-15 is projected to drop 3 percent over this year’s budgeted amount of $134,100, said district Vice President for Business and Finance David Foster.
The amount budgeted for heating fuel is expected to remain at expected to remain at $190,000 for next year, Foster noted in the presentation to the board.
“We have (heating)?bills through December. January was our time with the record cold,”?he said. “I don’t have bills for January in yet.”
Foster said of heating cost projections, “Next year’s budget number is holding. It depends on how heating goes for the next few months.”
Electricity costs are anticipated to drop about $5,000 from this year to next year, going from $110,000 to $105,000. A similar drop is expected in telephone bills, from around $20,000 in this year’s budget to $15,000 next year.
Foster said the district saved $26,000 in natural gas costs through Dec. 31 by purchasing natural gas through competitive bidding.
“We go out for competitive bid on our natural gas for the year. I’m measuring savings as compared to what a normal business user would get,”?he said.
The transportation budget for next year stands at $284,300, the same as this year. Within the materials and supplies budget line of $188,000 is the cost of diesel fuel. The district partners with the village and town in a shared fuel farm.
“I’m always cautious there, because we have fuel spikes that can occur for any reason. A lot of them have to do with politics in the Middle East,”?Foster said. “We do our best locally in terms of using the fuel farm and competitively bidding the fuel.”
Director of Transportation Jay Ballard said the problem with gasoline is, it’s more volatile than diesel fuel. “If there were a collision, the potential for an explosion or fire is much higher with gasoline over diesel. Every situation is different,”?he said. “The mileage outputs with the diesel ... typically, diesel engines get a greater fuel economy than gasoline. Those are the two main reasons most school districts use diesel fuel. Our bus fleet is mainly diesel, like the majority of school districts.”