On-base bus schedule begins November 20

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- This year's on-base school bus service schedule changes when it begins Nov. 20 and lasts until March 16, 2007. 

This year's funding for the on-base school bus service is approximately $77,000 less than last year's budget.  As a result, the service was reduced by approximately 30 school days. 

Even with fewer days, this year's bus service will cost approximately $174,000.
"Colonel Woodie (5th Bomb Wing commander) makes every effort to continue funding the service by taking money out of the wing's operating and maintenance funds," said 1st Lt. Sean Bojanowski, 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron. "Air Combat Command does not provide us funds for school bus service.  This is a quality-of-life initiative that our wing commander funds to the greatest extent the budget will allow. Of course, as our budgets get smaller, some services are shortened." 

The bus schedule will begin approximately two weeks later and will end approximately two weeks earlier than previous schedules. 

"The decision to cut an equal amount of time from both the beginning and end of the service was aimed at minimizing the impact on the students and parents, while trying to account for the extreme weather fluctuations we experience here at Minot," Lieutenant Bojanowski said. "It is hard to predict what the weather will do.  We could cut out the entire month of April and start earlier, but then we would hope the weather warms up quicker than normal.  To be safe, we distributed the risk between the beginning and end of the service." 

Base officials are well aware there are some concerned parents and want them to know the base is doing the best it can, said Senior Master Sergeant Abel Salgdo, 5th LRS. 

"We appreciate and understand parents' concerns regarding the school bus service," said Sergeant Salgdo. "Again, we try and provide the best service possible given our financial constraints.  We also ask that parents and students alike help this year's service be as safe as possible."  

A town hall meeting about on-base school bus service will be held Monday, 7 p.m., at the Base Theater.
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