Purchase of two mini-vans for District Van Pool

The superintendent is proposing the acquisition of two used 7 passenger mini-vans.  Currently the district motor pool consists of 5 vehicles.  1-8 passenger Suburban and 4-8 passenger full-sized vans.  Two of the vans are at the end of their useful life.   Currently we do not allow these vehicles to travel on any trips outside of the Portland/Longview area because they are unreliable.  Drivers also report that the steering shimmies on the highway on both vans.

The use of vans saves substantially on transportation of students that is non-reimbursable (extra curricular and co-curricular travel).  As well, they provide increased flexibility for staff and coaches who travel with smaller groups or teams.

We are developing a cooperative Special Education program with Ridgefield and LaCenter school districts that will serve qualified developmentally delayed adults, aged 18-21 in job training and placement.   One vehicle is expected to be used during most school days for this purpose.  With acquisition of a seven passenger van the grey van would be surplussed.

We have need on a regular basis for additional vans.  The second van would not displace the red van, currently closing in on retirement, but would supplement it and allow for travel outside of the Portland/Longview area.

The current market for used Chrysler mini-vans is in the $10,000 to $12,000 dollar range.

Policy grants the superintendent authority to make purchases such as this without explicit approval of the board.  We did not build this into the current years budget, though we have capacity within the current budget to make the purchase.  Thus I am seeking guidance from the board on the aquisition prior to proceeding.