A funding request for public transportation is on the agenda for Monday’s South Boston Town Council meeting.
Halifax Area Rural Transportation is slated to present a funding request to council at the meeting, set for 7 p.m. at the Washington Coleman Community Center at 1927 Jeffress Blvd.
Gwen Hinzman, president and CEO of Lake Country Area Agency on Aging, is expected to present the funding request for Halifax Area Rural Transportation (HART). The transportation service is provided to residents of the towns of South Boston and Halifax, within the corporate limits of the two towns.
HART’s projected budget for fiscal year 2021-2022 is $91,965, with an estimated local match of $45,983, the majority of which — $39,545 — is from the town of South Boston.
HART’s estimated capital bus purchase expense budget for FY 2021-2022 is $65,000, with an estimated total local match of $5,895, $5,070 of which is expected from the town of South Boston.
The 5311 Transportation Program is funded through the Federal Transportation Administration and funds from the Commonwealth of Virginia, and each year requires an approximate 50% local match and a 9% local match for capital expenses for bus purchases and equipment.
“The service is a win-win situation in that the riders love it, businesses love it, industries love it, and ultimately the town is reaping more tax money from the revenue generated by the sales,” Hinzman writes in her funding request letter to South Boston town manager Tom Raab.
In her letter, Hinzman notes the agency has the lowest insurance costs of any transportation provider in Virginia, and the agency’s fleet of buses are used as models for other public transit providers for “operational procedure, safety practices and policies.”
Hinzman also gives an overview of the program, including ridership for the 2019-2020 year : 5.532, customer fare: $1.50 per pickup/boarding, and days and hours of operation: Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m.
After hearing the funding request, town council is expected to take action on appointments recommended by the current issues committee: the appointment of South Boston police chief Bryan Young to the Southside Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program to fill the unexpired term of former chief, Jim Binner, and the recommended appointment of T. Chris Elliott to the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Other highlights of the agenda are the introduction of a new town police officer Josuah Rice, a resolution honoring retired police Lt. Ronnie Edmonds, and results of the town’s audit report for fiscal year 2019-2020 by Steven Gay; Harris, Harvey & Neal, CPA.
Also up for council’s approval is a request from the Halifax County Service Authority to confirm the appointment of Hope Harris-Gayles to the authority’s board of directors. The authority’s board approved Harris-Gayles’ appointment in January to fill the vacant and unexpired term of Mark Thackston upon his resignation and work relocation.