NORWALK, Conn. – A new East Norwalk development is likely to cost the Board of Education $85,000 for a new bus route, Superintendent Manny Rivera said.
The East Norwalk Avalon has added 17 students to Marvin Elementary School, Rivera said at last week’s combined Board of Education/Common Council finance committees meeting. That was part of a discussion of an expected increase in BOE transportation costs in the 2014-2015 operating budget.
The leasing of Avalon’s 240 apartments began in May 2013. The city’s website shows that East Norwalk Avalon paid $116,404 in real estate taxes on Jan. 27. It paid the same amount in 2013.
BOE Chief Financial Officer Rich Rudl said the bus would cost $85,000. “But a lot of the buses that we have are pretty jam packed,” he said.
“Marvin has seen an increase of 23 students since the beginning of the school year,” BOE Communications Director Brenda Williams said in a Monday email. “However, not all those students are necessarily from Avalon, as we do have students that move into and out of schools throughout the year. Marvin would be the assigned elementary school for the East Norwalk Avalon community, although students in Marvin could also potentially enroll in our magnet schools like Columbus or Jefferson, or other schools such as All Saints.”
At last week’s meeting, Councilman Jerry Petrini (R-District D) asked Rivera if the students might go to Naramake Elementary School, which is closer.
Rivera said he wants to do a facility utilization study to look into that and other issues. “It would potentially mean redistricting,” he said.
Rudl said other increased transportation costs include a need for five additional vans for out-of-district special education students.
Rivera said the out-of-district transportation costs are “killing us.” He said he hopes to one day keep those students in district by creating a home for the services they need here, but the start-up costs are prohibitive at present.