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Students in the Forest City Community School District will have new buses to ride. At least students on two bus routes.

The school board approved buying two new school buses during their Monday, Oct. 14 meeting.

The board had received two bids for the two buses – one from Thomas Bus Sales, Inc. based in Des Moines and the other from Hoglund Bus based in Marshalltown.

While Thomas Bus Sales bid two buses for a combined cost of $173,294 and promised delivery 30 days from purchase order date, Hoglund bus bid two stock unit buses, which means they are already built and waiting to be sold, for a combined cost of $173,598 and promised immediate delivery with stock subject to availability.

Superintendent Darwin Lehmann said buying the buses from Thomas Bus Sales was consistent with the last number of their school bus purchases.

Lehmann said the district will be buying another bus next year as well, since the district needs to buy a third bus before it can get the $72,500 back per the Volkswagon settlement.

“The Volkswagon settlement with this program was because the emissions that were coming from the buses that had the Volkswagon parts and equipment in [did not meet standards],” he said.

The old buses will get shut down and have a hole cut into the engine block so they can’t be used anymore, according to Lehmann.

Lehmann said the Forest City school district wrote they will get three new buses in the next two years in their plan to Volkswagon on the settlement, so after getting all three buses, the district will get the $72,500 to offset the cost of purchasing three new buses.

“It’s like a grant, but it’s due to Volkswagon’s parts,” he said.

Though there will be no seatbelts in these two buses, Lehmann said the bus the district plans to purchase next year will have seatbelts.

Currently, the district has about 18 school buses, half of which are from Thomas Bus Sales, according to Lehmann.

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