In a second attempt to establish Perrysburg's own public transportation system, the Health, Sanitation, and Public Utilities Committee will recommend to city council that a 0.8-mill, five-year levy be placed on the May ballot.
The proposal essentially halves the levy that was narrowly defeated in November and reduces the level of service that would be provided.
"I think we all wanted to see a reduction in the millage," councilman Timothy McCarthy said at the committee meeting today.
The estimated $460,000 raised by the levy would pay for Ride Right, of Lake St. Louis, Mo., to operate two vehicles for a total of 96 service hours a week, committee chairman J. Todd Grayson said.
The levy requests came after Perrysburg voters’ decision earlier this year to withdraw from the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority, which ceased its service to the city in September.
The new service proposal is that one vehicle, equipped to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, would provide call-a-ride service, while another vehicle would operate on a fixed commuter route for three hours in the morning and three hours in the evening.
Mr. Grayson said this was similar to the call-a-ride service that was provided during the interim period between when TARTA stopped servicing Perrysburg and the November election.
He also said riders had described the service as sufficient for their needs and that Ride Right had confirmed it would be willing to operate the two vehicles within the proposed availability.
"All these [proposals] are based on Ride Right's estimates," Mr. Grayson said.
Kevin Rantanen, a Perrysburg resident and volunteer with Perrysburg 4 Transit, questioned whether the millage and service was being cut too much.
"I feel like that's almost going a little too extreme," he said, adding that only 200 no votes needed to be overcome. The 1.45-mill tax on the Nov. 6 ballot fell by 183 votes, out of more than 11,600 ballots cast, according to election results.
Mr. McCarthy invited the advocacy group and other concerned citizens to come to the Jan. 2 council meeting to offer input. He said council could make adjustments if needed.
Because transportation service is planned to begin in 2013 immediately after passage of the levy in May but taxes would not be collected until 2014, an amount is built into the levy to essentially "pay back" the city coffers to cover initial service, Mr. Grayson said.
The estimated cost of service would be about $240,000 for the remainder of 2013 and about $420,000 in 2014, with an estimated and maximum increase of 5 percent increase each year for 2015, 2016, and 2017.
The contract with Ride Right would be made for three years with two one-year renewal options, Mr. Grayson said.
City council next meets at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 2, scheduled for that Wednesday to avoid the New Year holiday.
Contact Rebecca Conklin Kleiboemer at 419-356-8786, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @RebeccaConklinK.
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