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Published: Wednesday, 12/3/2008

Perrysburg voters may get say on TARTA

Perrysburg voters may soon have a say in whether the city continues efforts to withdraw from TARTA public bus service, City Council said last night.

Council gave first reading to a resolution that would pose the question on the November ballot: whether the bus service is worth the $1.3 million citizens paid to TARTA in property taxes. No action was taken last night.

The resolution will face a vote after the final reading, which is expected Dec. 16. If approved, the city would ask TARTA to cancel service on the condition that voters agree.

The ballot question would simply provide clear voter feedback, and wouldn't represent an easy out to services or any change in the law, Mayor Nelson Evans said.

The TARTA board is not likely to permit Perrysburg to opt out. State law dictates that a community may leave a regional transportation pact only with the unanimous nod of other members.

Efforts by state Rep. Randy Gardner (R., Bowling Green) to change the law so communities could opt out on their own have been unsuccessful.

Council member Joe Rutherford said the city is committed to public transportation, and is considering private alternatives to TARTA.

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