Perrysburg transit will return this summer PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer   
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 09:47
PERRYSBURG - Public transportation will be returning to the city this summer.
Council voted Tuesday night to approve a contract with transit firm Ride Right LLC, renewing an association with the city unexpectedly cut short last fall.
The matter passed unanimously and without fanfare early in the meeting, though a round of applause erupted from the audience after the vote.
"At long last," said Mayor Nelson Evans after the matter was approved.
A tentative start date of July 1 has been set for Ride Right, and the company is reportedly in the process of hiring drivers and other staff for the service.
This will be the second go-around for St. Louis-based Ride Right as the city's public transportation provider. The firm provided a temporary fill-in service for Perrysburg after TARTA left at the end of September, 2012, and remained until the end of November after a 1.45-mill transit levy was narrowly defeated. The service provided by Ride Right had received high marks from the public. In the interim, those who depended on transit have fended for themselves, or utilized a Neighbors-Helping-Neighbors system set up by Go Perrysburg, an organization which has advocated for transit in the city.
The new transportation offering, using two new buses, is expected to include ADA paratransit and call-a-ride options, as well as a limited commuter route. The 0.8-mill transit levy, which passed on May 7, will provide about $460,000 annually for the service during its five-year run. Go Perrysburg has already indicated they hope to do fundraising for the service.
Council additionally approved the appointment of Brody Walters to the post of Planning and Zoning Administrator. Walters has served as Deputy Administrator in the department for several years, and succeeds Thomas King, who stepped down from the post early this year. Council approved the matter after a brief executive session at the end of Tuesday's meeting.
In other business, council:
• Gave a first reading to a resolution to place a 1-mill refuse levy on the November ballot. The measure has been passed every two years in the city since the mid-1980s.
• Passed an ordinance 5-1 opposing Ohio House Bill 5, which would affect the collection of municipal taxes. Todd Grayson supplied the lone "no" vote on the matter.
• Additionally passed another ordinance 5-1 allowing the application for a FEMA grant for Fire Division radios. Grayson, who voted no, expressed his consternation with FEMA and his feeling that the money should be obtained locally. Resident Rick Ruffner also expressed frustration that so many local fire, EMS and police departments seem to be changing their communications systems or broadcasting frequencies.
• Approved the purchase of a new medic unit for the Perrysburg Fire Division from Finley Fire for a price not to exceed $250,000. Currently, two of the three medic units in the city have been out of service for various reasons. One of the vehicles is being shifted to another city department for repairs and alternate use. The city was scheduled to purchase a new ambulance next year as part of a five-year replacement plan.

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