Board of Education postpones transportation contract award

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Wednesday, July 13, 2016 10:41pm
  • News

The Board of Education is postponing the next pupil transportation contract award for a second time.

The decision was announced following an hour-long executive session that commenced at the start of Monday’s regular meeting, when the board was scheduled to vote between Missouri-based Apple Bus and current contract holder First Student.

Board member Liz Downing called for the executive session, citing the content “may have an adverse effect on the finances of the borough. This session is held to discuss the transportation contract.”

The student transportation services are set to begin at the start of the 2017-2018 school year, and what will mostly likely be a 10-year agreement.

At a worksession Monday, Assistant Superintendent Dave Jones said within the past few years the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District participated in meetings with the other “Big 5” school districts, which include the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, the Anchorage School District and the Juneau School District, and the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development to discuss what it would take to make providing services in Alaska more appealing to companies from the Lower 48. He said offering 10-year contracts was some of the criteria busing companies would desire, which offers ample time to properly set up facilities and purchase vehicles, he said.

Only two contenders were ultimately vetted for the new contract.

According to the board memo, Apple Bus came in with the most desirable offer with proposed daily rates of $558.23 per regular education bus per day, and $740.49 per special education bus per day. The rates are 1 percent higher than what the school district is paying now.

First Student’s rates were not far off, coming in at $564.31 per regular education bus per day, and $748.56 per special education bus per day, according to the memo.

“There is a significant cost difference each year, and the cumulative difference means that Apple Bus Company will provide the services for $976,994.11 less than First Student over the life of the contract,” according to the memo.

An appeal, which applicants can request once a Request For Proposals process is complete, is ongoing. An award will not occur until the appeal is resolved.

The decision is scheduled for August’s regularly scheduled meeting, but may be made at a special meeting prior to that date, said school district spokesperson Pegge Erkeneff in a previous Clarion interview.

Reach Kelly Sullivan at

More in News

The Homer Spit is evacuated during the July 28 tsunami warning at about 10:50 p.m. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Tsunami warning test scheduled for Wednesday morning

The National Weather Service will conduct a statewide test of the tsunami… Continue reading

A mock up of the Soldotna Field House. (Photo via City of Soldotna)
Soldotna designates field house funds

Construction of a field house in Soldotna took a step forward last… Continue reading

Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, speaks during a meeting of the House State Affairs committee on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Carpenter, Ruffridge target state finances

The central Kenai Peninsula’s representatives in the Alaska House of Representatives have… Continue reading

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID-19: Local cases fall after last week’s spike

After a spike of 50 new COVID-19 cases was reported in the… Continue reading

A tripod set by the Soldotna and Kenai Rotary Clubs stands over the ice of the Kenai River in Soldotna, Alaska on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Local Rotary Clubs testing new contest for next winter

The Rotary Clubs of Soldotna and Kenai are performing a test in… Continue reading

Alaska State Troopers logo.
State Trooper convicted of attempted sexual abuse of a minor

Vance Peronto, formerly an Alaska State Trooper based in Soldotna, was convicted… Continue reading

Soldotna City Hall is seen on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna moves ahead with staff recruitment strategies

Soldotna City Council members last week gave city administration a thumbs up… Continue reading

State representatives Tom McKay, R-Anchorage, and Andi Story, D-Juneau, offering competing amendments to a bill increasing the per-student funding formula for public schools by $1,250 during a House Education Committee meeting Wednesday morning. McKay’s proposal to lower the increase to $150 was defeated. Story’s proposal to implement an increase during the next two years was approved, after her proposed amounts totalling about $1,500 were reduced to $800.
Borough, Soldotna call on Legislature to increase school funding

The City of Soldotna last week became the latest entity to call… Continue reading

Kenai River Brown Bears goalie Nils Wallstrom celebrates winning a shootout over the Fairbanks Ice Dogs on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears sweep Ice Dogs, move into 3rd place

The Kenai River Brown Bears earned a two-game sweep over the Fairbanks… Continue reading

Most Read