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Muskogee could end Transit Authority funds

Muskogee could end Transit Authority funds


McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Published: October 28, 2009


MUSKOGEE — The Muskogee City Council took no action Monday night on a proposal to fund the Muskogee County Public Transit Authority for the remainder of this fiscal year.

"From my point of view we should continue exercising due diligence when the benefits for out-of-state travel on city business exceed the cost of said travel."

The Transit Authority’s $190,000 annual contract with the city expired at the end of September, taking city officials by surprise. The city already made its October payment to the authority, so the new contract would only determine funding for eight months — the remaining months of the current fiscal year — City Attorney John Vincent said.


The Transit Authority would not have had enough money to make its October payroll without the city funding, Vincent said. The agency gets the bulk of its funding from the state, and those payments have not been received so far this fiscal year, he said.

The possibility of terminating city funding for the Transit Authority caused some concern among council members.

"A lot of people rely on them for transportation,” council member Jim Ritchey said.

The city’s utility sales and sales tax revenues are down more than $400,000 for the first quarter of the fiscal year that began July 1, according to City Manager Greg Buckley.

Buckley said if the shortfall continues at its present level, the city will continue to hold off on starting new projects and will fill vacancies on an as-needed basis.

He said he doesn’t foresee cutting personnel.

Next fiscal year is when the city really could feel the pinch, Buckley said.

Council member Shawn Raper asked city officials to develop a list of priorities in case budget cuts are needed and asked the council to hold off on renewing its agreement with the transit group, in case that’s one of the areas proposed to be cut.

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