Discussion continues on Suttons Bay School District's buses

Suttons Bay school officials met Thursday night to talk about the district's plans for busing this upcoming school year.

Earlier this year, the Federal Transit Authority ordered the Bay Area Transit Authority (BATA) to stop running it's "flex routes" with Suttons Bay Public Schools due to route inconveniences.

Without BATA's help, the district would need to raise more than half a million dollars to keep up with bus maintenance.

The options include re-instating district bussing control, contracting services out to a private contractor, or relying on public transportation for students to get to school.

If a private contractor is chosen, there are also a couple options. First, Suttons Bay can keep their busses but let the contractor use them-meaning Suttons Bay still has the cost of repairs. They could also contract drivers as well. Second, the contractor could buy all of the busses from Suttons Bay, which would be a bit more expensive.

District leaders said they examined the costs, advantages, disadvantages for each plan - including bus repair, fuel, and driver cost verses choosing their own routes and times.

"It seems like the consensus right now, going into it -can't anticipate what the board's going to say- the option that provides the most money for the classroom is the option that we should follow," stated the Suttons Bay Superintendent, Michael Murray.

The final decision will be made at the next meeting on July 8th. Until then, the board will accept any public comment.