|Rossford council votes to stay in TARTA|
|Written by Sentinel-Tribune|
|Monday, 24 June 2013 22:25|
ROSSFORD — In a decisive 5-2 vote, City Council decided Monday to remain a member of TARTA.
The vote marked a turnabout for the council where membership in the regional transportation authority has a been a sore topic for over a decade.
Councilmen have long complained about lack of ridership, lack of service and lack of accountability, and along with Perrysburg, Rossford officials asked State Sen. Randy Gardner to push for legislation to allow communities an easier way to exit the system.
The council set up a committee to study the options and consider the alternatives. What they found, said Councilman Mike Scott, who was a member of the committee, was that providing any kind of service to the city’s elderly and disabled who most rely on the system would be far more expensive than staying in.
The city residents now pay 2,25 mills to TARTA, Scott estimated that the city would have to raise that to 4 mills to provide its own, inferior service.
He noted that Rossford situation was different than Perrysburg’s. Rossford’s neighbor decided to leave TARTA, and contract to provide its own system. Rossford, Scott said, was to small to carry that off.
Several members of council referred back to their earlier skepticism about the system.
“As much as I thought we needed out,” said Councilwoman Caroline Eckel, “everything seems to keep pointing back to we are getting a great benefit.”... I think we’re getting a lot more than we are paying for.”
Those supporting staying in cited the needed to provide some service for those citizens, elderly, disabled or unable to drive, who need it. They also said it makes Rossford more desirable to developers.
Voting against the resolution were Jerry Staczek and Chuck Duricek. Both said they wanted to see the voters decide.
Staczek was particularly adamant, about that point, saying the proponents of staying in didn’t want to put the measure on the ballot because they knew it would fail.
“This should go to the community,” he said.
But Greg Marquette said that the community was represented by the seven members of council.
Duricek cautioned that TARTA may go back to its lack of interest in Rossford once the city decides to stay in the system.
Also supporting the resolution was Council president Larry Oberdorf.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 June 2013 06:51|
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