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Bus funding approved, Keene to take over one vehicle

Keene Supervisor William "Bill" Ferebee

Keene Supervisor William "Bill" Ferebee Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Last month, Essex County Public Transportation Director Nancy Dougal was asked to re-evaluate a proposal that would cost the county around $69,000.

On Sept. 17, Dougal came back having successfully cut that number to $198.

With that, the Finance, Tax Reduction and Mandate Relief Committee passed a resolution to accept 5311 federal and state funding for $215,500 that would include purchase of one trolley and bus for the village of Lake Placid, along with bus stop shelters and bus stop signs.

“We had the mayor of Lake Placid here at our last public transportation meeting and they are interested in picking up the 10 percent shared costs for the trolley, the bus, the shelters and the signage for their village, which left just the 10 percent for the signage for the rest of the county,” Elizabethtown Supervisor Margaret Bartley said. “I am very pleased that we got the out-of-pocket spending down for the county.”

Dougal said that the county and the Olympic Regional Development Authority, who was also seeking a new ski bus, will continue as is until a new round of funding in 2013.

“ORDA runs on a different year then we do, so they have not planned for these purchases even though they requested that they be included,” she said. “We will run with what we had last year.”

The committee also turned over one of the old buses in the fleet to the town of Keene.

“It came from the recommendation of the New York State Department of Transportation,” Keene Supervisor Bill Ferebee said.

Ferebee said that with the bus under town control, it would no longer fall under the regulations of the federal and state grant programs, meaning the town could run it more miles and for different purposes than the county.

“It falls out of the federal requirements,” he said. “The town can use it for anything we want to use it for. If there is a wedding in town that wants to rent out a bus, we can do that. We can transport seniors to events and do other things with it.”

Ferebee said that the town will still make sure that the bus is taken care of for safe operation, but will not have to follow the DOT regulations for a county bus.

“We will try to follow those standards, but this allows us to put more miles on the bus and use it for more purposes,” he said.

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