|Fate of transit in hands of county|
|Written by HAROLD BROWN, Sentinel City Editor|
|Wednesday, 05 March 2014 09:42|
Framers of the 2014 Wood County Locally Coordinated Public and Human Service Transportation Plan sought feedback Tuesday from the three people who will decide its fate.
"Feel free to reach out with your comments. If you are in a quandary about something, we can sit down and talk," Robin Richter, director of Senior and Transportation Services for WSOS, told the Board of Wood County Commissioners. She has served as coordinator for the plan, working for more than a year with numerous Wood County social services agencies, two of which need the plan to be able to continue to apply for grants to purchase and replace transportation vehicles. Efforts to complete the plan have intensified since Jan. 1, with a March 21 deadline for the plan to be filed with the Ohio Department of Transportation.
The plan will update one completed in 2008 and will initially be of benefit to the Children's Resource Center and the Wood County Committee on Aging, who use the document to seek grants. CRC will be seeking new vehicles this year. Richter said the plan has also been written to help agencies apply for grants to expand the services to senior citizens and the disabled.
Adopting the plan would not lock any entity into following through on the strategies it contains, Richter said.
Residents will have an opportunity to comment on the plan Monday from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Wood County Senior Center, 305 N. Main St.
Richter gave commissioners a preliminary report of the 139-page document, concentrating on the eight-page chapter eight "Moving Ahead: Prioritized Strategies." Approximately 30 agencies have been involved at some point in the meetings that developed the strategies. In 2013 a series of surveys were conducted to help determine transportation needs.
One meeting of stakeholders in January was focused on representatives from other rural Northwest Ohio counties sharing how their transportation efforts are coordinated.
Richter said stakeholders brought many ideas, questions and opinions to the discussion. "I believe the more challenges you face and the differences of opinion you hear, you get a better product in the end. The comments have helped make a plan that can work for everyone," she said.
Jim Carter, president of the board, said the document "Would represent a big step for Wood County."
Commissioner Doris Herringshaw said "Wood County has dabbled in this (transportation) a little through the years, but was not looked at in this depth. Many things have changed."
Commissioner Joel Kuhlman noted that Perrysburg has not been involved. Richter explained that the northern area of Wood County is included in the Lucas County Urbanized Area and works through the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments and TARTA. "We do speak to that in the plan," she said.
Richter made special mention of the work of the students of Russell Mills of the Department of Political Science at Bowling Green State University, the BGSU gerontology department and the National Easter Seals Project Action.
WSOS is a community action agency serving Wood, Sandusky, Ottawa and Seneca counties.
The draft final report can be downloaded at: http://www.wsos.org/mobility/WoodCo/Wood%20County%20LCHSTP%202014.pdf.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 March 2014 16:18|
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