Belgrade School District considers options for school bus services


BELGRADE, Mont. - The Belgrade School District currently lets outside groups and nonprofits use their school buses, but the board of trustees may vote to change that policy. Superintendent Candy Lubansky said the board is currently deciding whether or not to continue providing buses for community trips. The Belgrade School District is one of the few districts in the state that owns its own bus fleet. Currently, they rent out buses to groups including day cares, camps, retreats, and more. They charge for gas and drivers, but they don't charge for wear and tear. The Belgrade School District is considering setting up an enterprise fund to help account for those costs, and be able to continue the services to the outside groups. Lubansky said the core purpose of the buses is to provide transportation to the school children and school activities. "We have to step back and say, 'Do we as a district need -- if we want to continue providing that kind of service -- do we need to establish an enterprise fund to really appropriately account for those kinds of services?'" Lubansky explained. Lubansky said the board of trustees will vote on whether to continue the bus services, and whether to implement the enterprise fund. An enterprise fund would help offset the school's expenses for outside use of the buses. NBC Montana also spoke to a day care center and the local Boy Scouts who have used the bus services in the past. They believe the service is a benefit to the community and hope it continues. But they were understanding that costs may have to increase in order to keep the services going.