Barry County Commissioners Tuesday recommended approval of a resolution of intent for Barry County Transit Director William Voigt to apply for state and federal funds for transit operations and appoint him transportation coordinator. During the routine annual request, Voigt gave an overview of the past year.
“The transit had a great 2016,” he said. The transit provided 107,000 rides, earned $258,000 in fares in the past year and won the 2016 Federal Transportation Administrator's award for ”Outstanding Rural Transit System.” Building on a 30 percent increase in ridership in 2015, Voigt announced two changes in the transit services in January of 2016.
Instead of assigning a bus to a specific village or area on certain days of the week, transit buses covered all of the county. Hours were extended from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weekdays to “provide more hours for those people coming home from work, after school activities and later doctor visits,” Voigt said at the time.
A new software system is working well and the department recently completed installation of cameras on all transit buses, he said. Some buses have three cameras, some four, giving complete coverage of buses, drivers and passengers. Voigt is currently working on ways to coordinate transit coverage with systems in neighboring counties.
On the grants, he estimated the transit would receive $253,421 in federal funds, $524,739 in state funds, $507,538 in local funds, fare box totals of $250,000 and other funds of $90,550 with expenses of $1,374,344. //
The commission also recommended Incumbent Charles Pullen for a four-year term on the Barry County Veterans Committee. The commission recommended increasing the three-person committee to five and will likely re-advertise the two additional seats and invite Douglas Eugene Lindsey, who interviewed, to re-apply, and interview Shannon Alexander Szukala, who applied but could not be at Tuesday’s meeting.
The committee of the whole recommendations will be acted on at the next regular board meeting. The board went into closed session to discuss ongoing negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement.