EDITORIAL: Spending choices

For the record, we agree with SD #8 choice. As far as we’re concerned, it’s good fiscal policy.

Last week’s story regarding a school bus fire generated mixed reactions from the public.

For those unfamiliar with the event, three buses were damaged during an early morning blaze. The vehicles were parked at Brent Kennedy Elementary school.

The fire is under investigation but foul play is not suspected.

The fire itself did not cause a huge public reaction; these things do happen. However, when it was revealed that School District #8 did not have comprehensive insurance to cover the damages, a minor buzz began.

In fact, the Nelson Star made it the Question of the Week on the website, asking people if they agree with the school board’s decision not to have comprehensive insurance. The response is almost perfectly split down the middle.

For the record, we agree with SD #8 choice. As far as we’re concerned, it’s good fiscal policy.

There is only so much money in the school board budget each year and according to Larry Brown, operations manager for SD #8, the extra insurance would have amounted to $15,000 more each year. That’s $150,000 over 10 years.

You have to remember, the buses are insured. They have coverage for injuries and damage. They just don’t have comprehensive, which is extra protection, for a large cost.

It’s not so much of a gamble as it is a decision to weigh the costs against the likelihood of a fire.

We can’t remember the last time a school bus caught fire in this district, at least not in the past decade.

We will have to wait and see if the cost of repairs is more or less than the $150,000 saved in insurance premiums. In the end, the school board could still come out on the positive side of the ledger.