Wilton schools extend transportation contract

The Board of Education voted to accept a five-year contract extension offer from Student Transportation Association of America (STA) during its Feb. 28 meeting. The contract extension comes with a 3.5% increase the first two years and a 4% increase the last three.

The base total contract for 2017-18 will be $2,631,142 — a nearly 1% increase over the current $2,605,649 base contract.

With the district’s five-year contract with the bus company expiring June 30, the Board of Education was left with the choice of either negotiating a contract extension or going out to bid for a new provider.

At the board’s Feb. 9 meeting, Financial Director Dick Huot noted several reasons why the board should negotiate a contract extension, including the fact that:

  • There are brand new top-of-the-line school buses with child seats built into the first row to accommodate children under 60 pounds.

  • Wilton is one of the few districts in the state whose buses have three-point seat belts.

  • STA’s track record over the past five years has been “excellent.”

Wilton also has the lowest cost per bus per day of any of its neighboring towns, said Huot — including Ridgefield, Westport, Norwalk and New Canaan — which contract with different transportation companies.

In a Jan. 6 memo to Superintendent Kevin Smith, Huot noted STA is also willing to train Wilton’s new transportation staff member and share the responsibility of route maintenance and development at no additional cost.