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Transit agency seeks help to restore senior shuttle service
Carrie Woody of Lancaster Public Transit (LPT) believes her agency can restore shuttle service for Pickerington-area seniors.
To do so, LPT would need local government groups to contribute a total of $25,000.
At the Sept. 15 meeting, Woody asked the Pickerington City Council to donate $10,000 a year and on Sept. 16 she planned to ask the Violet Township trustees for another $10,000.
Between Meals on Wheels, the Senior Center, Fairfield County MRDD and other organizations, Woody expects to collect the remaining $5,000.
LPT would then match the money with state and federal grants.
In the past, Pickerington paid Fairfield County MRDD $25,000 per year to provide a shuttle service for local seniors.
Due to financial restraints, the city ended the arrangement this past July.
Under the previous agreement, seniors paid $7.50 for a one-way ride within the city limits. With LPT the same trip would cost $1, Woody said.
Additionally, the shuttle would be available for Violet Township residents of all ages. (Pickerington is completely within Violet Township thus Pickerington residents are also Violet Township residents.)
Adults with disabilities and children ages 5-18 would also pay $1. Adults without disabilities would pay $2 and children 4 and younger would ride for free, Woody said.
To apply for the matching state and federal funding, LPT needs for both Pickerington and Violet to agree to the arrangement by the end of October.
Approximately 100 seniors a month used the Pickerington shuttle service, Woody said.
• City Council unanimously voted to endorse Issue 16, the Pickerington Public Library levy, on the Nov. 3 ballot.
The 0.75 levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $22.97 per year and would raise $830,800 annually.
A loss in state funding forced the library to ask residents for funds, Library Director Suellen Goldsberry said.
For example, the September check that Pickerington Library received from the state was for $57,000, but the monthly expenses total more than $65,000, Goldsberry said.
The library has already cut staff, hours and materials acquisitions.
The state cut funding at a time when Pickerington's library use has increased more than 100 percent, Goldsberry said.
"As the economy declines, library use increases," Goldsberry said.
Not only does the library offer free entertainment with its books and movies, it also offers free Internet and help with job searches, Goldsberry said.
For more information, supporters of Issue 16 have formed a Web site: www.vote4ourlibrary.com.
A public forum will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Ohio University-Pickerington Center and a second forum will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 18 at the library.
• Pickerington will apply for $1 million in Ohio Public Works Commission funding to replace a length of sanitary sewer line running along Sycamore Creek from the Stonebridge development south to the wastewater treatment plant.
City engineer Greg Bachman said that if approved, 50 percent would be a grant, 25 percent would be a loan and the remaining funds would come from the water and sewer fund.
Water from Sycamore Creek seeps into the current leaky old pipe that is too small for the city's current needs, Bachman said.
The width of the main varies from 18-inches to 24-inches. The proposed replacement pipe would have a 36-inch diameter, Bachman said.
• Pickerington and Violet Township will each donate $3,500 to Pickerington Central Band to enable financially disadvantaged students to march with their classmates in the 2010 Tournament of Roses Parade.
Pickerington's portion will be paid using the bed tax - a tax collected from city motels, City Manager Tim Hansley said.
The intended use for the tax is to "enhance the community for a national audience," Hansley said.
"I think (the band) does project the city and Violet Township in a positive light," Councilman Keith Smith said.
• On Sept. 22 at 10 a.m. at Kroger on Hill Road, Kroger and Milk-Bone will present the city with a $5,000 donation toward the purchase of a new police dog.
Police Chief Michael Taylor said he intends to pursue other potential donors to raise the remaining $4,000 needed for the cost of the dog and training.
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