Friday, February 6, 2004

Clermont takes transit grants, but cuts lie ahead

By Perry Schaible
Enquirer contributor

BATAVIA - The Clermont County commissioners agreed to accept a $300,000 state grant Wednesday to help offset operational costs and serve as a match for a federal grant for the county's transportation department.

Cuts in services may still be necessary because of a Jan. 1 designation change from a rural transportation system to urban. The change is a result of population numbers collected in the 2000 Census and means the department will receive less federal funding.

The grant comes from the Ohio Department of Transportation.

"Any monies that you get are helpful to offset your operational costs," said Melissa O'Farrell, director of transportation for Clermont County.

A public hearing on the proposed cuts is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 24 in the commissioner's session room.

Residents will be given time to comment on the proposed changes, which include the elimination of weekend services and a reduction on the weekdays.

The Clermont Transportation Connection is a door-to-door public transit service available to county residents for $1.50 to $3 per trip.

Reductions could force the weekday schedule to be cut back from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., O'Farrell said.

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