$10,971 Surprise

The Transit Authority of Warren County (TAWC) got an unexpected surprise from the state this year.

Higher than expected state transportation revenues, combined with failure to pass a new state transportation plan in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, which left the old funding formula in place, resulted in a $10,971 increase to TAWC’s fiscal year 2013-24 grant allocation for the fixed route program .

The additional fund will be dispersed in payments to TAWC from September 2013 through June 2014.

The money comes at an opportune time for TAWC, as the last month saw a deficit in the fixed route budget outshop charges line item of $1,885.68 due to repair work done in Erie that otherwise would have required a transfer of funds from the fuel line item to cover.

TAWC’s board of directors approved adding the additional funds in their entirety to the outshop line item, with the assumption that remaining funds can be transferred later if shortfalls occur in other line items.

The outshop line item in the medical assistance budget ran over as well, leaving a deficit of $110.76. The expenses were due to office equipment repairs. As the state adjustment applied to a grant toward the fixed route budget, and the medical assistance program is a separate program with a separate budget, money from the allocation cannot be used to cover that deficit.

The board also approved transferring $500 from the fuel line item in the medical assistance budget to the outshop charges line item. The transfer leaves a positive balance in the outshop charges line item of $389.24.

TAWC Director John Aldrich reported the North-South Route under the fixed route program is being adjusted to include the new Beacon Light facility at the former Quality Market in North Warren.

It was reported TAWC has sent out requests to the county and area municipalities in an effort to solicit funds to meet its matching grant obligations. Aldrich said he has met with the Warren County Commissioners and City of Warren Manager Nancy Freenock, and that representatives of Sheffield and Conewango townships have visited the TAWC facility.

“We’ll see what happens in December,” Aldrich said, referring to when municipal and county budgets are approved. “Hopefully, we’ll get all the funds we need.”

Aldrich reported TAWC’s audit is underway and the accounting firm doing the work has been in the TAWC building doing field work this week. He said, if all goes as planned, the firm intends to present the result of the audit at the November board meeting.

Aldrich reported Experience Inc. is holding a Senior Expo at the TAWC building from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. next Friday, Oct. 25. The event will span the TAWC building, with activities both upstairs at the Allegheny Community Center and downstairs in the garage.

“We’re very excited to show off the building to some folks that may not have seen it,” Aldrich said.

It was also reported the top floor of the city parking garage on Clark Street will provide free parking and shuttle service between the garage and the TAWC building will be provided for the Senior Expo.

The Friends of the Library Theatre will also be using the TAWC building garage for its Holiday Extravaganza Craft and Vendor Show from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2.

“We’re letting them use it at no charge as they’re a non-profit,” Aldrich said.

He also suggested the garage could be used for future events.

“In the future we might consider using the extra space down there to generate some extra revenue,” Aldrich said. “We’ve got lots of space.”

TAWC board members also approved canceling their December meeting.

Total monthly ridership for the fixed route program was 5,628, an increase from 5,160 riders the same month last year. The increase is still near the per-service-day average of approximately 230 riders. Year-to-date ridership stands at 18,495. September monthly expenses for the program were $67,907.17. Year-to-date operating expenses stood at $206,887.66.

Total monthly ridership for the shared ride program was 3,228, an increase from 3,075 riders the same month last year. Year-to-date ridership stands at 9,747. September monthly expenses for the program were $44,869.12. Year-to-date operating expenses stood at $133,378.79.

Total monthly one-way passenger trips for the medical assistance program was 1,459 for 411 unduplicated clients. September monthly expenses for the program were $26,491.36. Year-to-date operating expenses stood at $112,119.56.