Elk Lake school buses getting cameras

Buses in the Elk Lake School District will be equipped with video surveillance cameras starting in the coming school year.

The school board voted on Tuesday, July 20, to purchase cameras for all buses in the district.
According to High School Principal Ken Cuomo, the district uses 26 buses that carry 72 passengers each, and three buses that carry 48 passengers.
The larger buses will get two cameras, one at the front and one in the center facing toward the back. The smaller buses will have the front camera only.
In addition, bus contractors will have the option of adding an additional camera in another location at their own expense. Cuomo said that could be a camera pointed down the steps and able to shoot out the front door; one mounted in the rear facing forward, or any other location.
The district will pay $43,185 for the cameras. Pro-Vision Inc. of Kentwood, Mich., was awarded the contract.
Superintendent William Bush noted that seven companies submitted bids for the cameras and installation. There were two that had slightly lower bids than Pro-Vision, he said. However, those bids included just a one-year warranty, while Pro-Vision offered five years.
The cost for equipping all of the buses with additional cameras was listed at $5,891, which equates to about $203 per bus.
Each bus will also have a digital video recorder installed. The recorders are capable of receiving video from as many as four cameras each.
For legal reasons, the cameras will record video only, not audio, Cuomo said.
In other business, the board hired Lindsey Nulton as a high school math teacher at a salary of $38,800; Kaitlyn McBride as an elementary teacher at $36,250, and Tara Bushnell as a part-time para-educator at $7.64 an hour.