Hartford School Board Chooses Butler's for Buses

Published 04/09 2014 11:53PM

Updated 04/10 2014 12:10AM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. - The Hartford school board moved forward in a new direction for its bus services Wednesday.

It received two bids and according to the members Butler's Bus Service made the best offer by a long shot.

“I think that it is a good contract,” board member Peter Merrill said.

According to the district Butler’s contract will save the school district more than $250,000 next year.

Still some parents had concerns about Butler's after two of their drivers were charged with dui this school year. One had a previous conviction.

Tuesday the company VP told us they would no longer hire drivers with DUIs. That assured board members they were the right choice.

“The background check that they're proposing is stronger than what we have now. We currently don't do this,” board member Lori Dickersen said.

Board chair and White River Junction state representative Kevin Christie recused himself from the meeting because he's a spare time driver for Butler’s. Tuesday he told us that superintendent Thomas Debalis would have final decision about who can drive Hartford school district students.

“The superintendent could say to the contractor we do not want that driver driving for us anymore and it’s history,” Christie said.

We received the proposed contract Wednesday. It didn’t contain any mention of the superintendent having that power.

But board members and the superintendent say they have faith in Butler’s will honor that wish if they request it.

The contract indicates that current Hartford bus drivers have preference in getting a position at Butler’s to keep their current routes. Those drivers would have to comply with Butler’s new policy of no DUIs.

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