This week is an unusual week in that there were no Ingham County meetings. Because we meet twice a month, and because there were five weeks in November this year, the last week (Nov 30 - Dec 2nd) didn't have any meetings. As such, I am going to take this opportunity to report on one of the important services that Ingham County residents pay for and that we provide to our residents - the Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) special services serving elderly and disabled residents of Ingham County.
In November, voters renewed the millage for this special service. About a month ago, the Board finalized our contract with CATA to fund and provide this service. This is in addition to the line-haul service provided with CATA (which is the dedicated bus lines that the citizens of Lansing, East Lansing, Delhi, Meridian and Lansing Township pay).
From January1, 2011 through December 31, 2015, CATA will carry out the following activities with respect to small bus transportation primarily serving elderly and disabled residents of Ingham County:
1. Take all reasonable steps to improve the quality of small bus service primarily
serving the elderly and residents with disabilities of Ingham County. CATA shall
constantly strive to develop methods to provide such services in more cost efficient
2. Continue to operate service for persons with disabilities, known as CATA Spec-
Tran, providing at a minimum the level of service in effect on October 1, 1988, to
residents of Ingham County who reside within the boundaries of the urbanized area
and who further qualify for this specialized service by nature of their mobilityrelated
disabilities. Services shall be provided in conformity with state and federal
requirements and grants received for the operation of the service. A maximum of
$1,942,212 of the funds received under this Agreement shall be used to pay the
actual expenses of operating, administrating and marketing Spec-Tran.
3. The amount of $105,873.00 shall be retained by the County for the operation of a
vehicle used to transport area veterans to VA Hospitals in the region in the
County’s 2011 Fiscal Year. CATA has no responsibility for this service and does
not participate in its operation or funding.
Also, dollars from this millage will be used to manage and operate the small bus system commonly known as CATA Rural Services (CRS), providing a minimum of 79 hours per day of service to the residents of Ingham County who reside outside of the boundaries of the urbanized area. Service shall be provided in conformity with the requirements of the state and federal grants received for the operation of the service. A maximum of $468,750 of the funds received under this agreement shall be used to pay for the actual expenses of operating, administering and marketing CATA Rural Services. While I am not thrilled that dollars from this millage will be used for rural services instead of just elderly and disabled service, I have been told that the percentage of dollars going to rural service matches the percentage of dollars being supplied by the rural areas. I guess that makes me feel a little better. And for all the attorney's, this is legal because the ballot language said the millage is "primarily" for elderly and disabled, so less than 50% can be used for rural services. Again, I am not happy that it seems that the voters were not wholly informed on this, but it has passed twice and the voters have not complained.
In addition to CATA, I wanted to share one other thing for Lansing area residents. I am on the Active Neighboring News email list from Joan Nelson of the Allen Street community and love it. Here is one tip she points out in this week’s email…
SeeClickFix is a wonderful new tool that enables neighbors to report non-emergency problems to the City of Lansing and the Board of Water and Light, e.g., traffic light or street light outage, stretch of sidewalk that is in such poor condition that it is downright dangerous, a ‘permanent’ dumpster in front of a home on your block, etc. Go to the website, www.seeclickfix.com. The “prompts” allow you to create an account. Then, when you observe the problem, go into the website, type in your remarks in the “Report an issue!” box. Good luck.
I am also on the South Lansing email list from Kathie Dunbar and have learned lots of good information from that. I will pass that on as well when I receive it.
Next week should be another busy week, and I will have a report for you on Thursday!