Chairman In Favor Of Rural Transit Plan; Questions If Money Is Available

Carroll County Commission Chairman Marty Smith tells WLBB Radio that he is in favor of the public transportation plan that has been presented to the board of commissioners by the Three Rivers Regional Commission.
However, Smith says, he’s not sure the county has the available funds to start the program at this time.
“Personally, I’m for this right now. And we have a lot of senior (citizens) that are asking ‘Hey, what are you doing for us?’ We can’t get a senior citizen’s group in every part of the county, but we can help with the options of transportation,” Smith said. “ Right now the fiscal thing to do— and the responsibility of the board— is determine can we afford it right now.”
Smith says he is not yet convinced that the county can.
“Financially, Carroll County is still extremely tight… and right now, it is a matter of affordability,” he said. “Several of (the commissioners) want to go ahead and cast their vote (in favor) Tuesday and then we will address the finances come budget time. That’s fine too but right now, I can’t good-heartedly support anything. But If (the county finances) get better, (a transportation plan) is directly where money should be put forth.”
The estimated 2017 startup cost for bringing public transportation to Carroll County would be approximately $72,000. Also included is an estimated annual operating budget of $35,000 to $40,000 per year.