WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Trumbull County commissioners are trying to figure out a way to help with transit in the county while asking for residents to pay as little in taxes as possible if need be.
On Wednesday, they gathered members of different townships for their input.
Trumbull County uses transit-contracted transport vehicles to help the public and the elderly, with special buses helping the developmentally disabled.
In Wednesday’s meeting with members of different townships, the county’s transit administrator, Mike Salamone, laid out the differences between trips — for both the cities and the townships and for both the public and the developmentally disabled.
“The cities provided 54 percent of my trips, the townships did 46,” he said.
Salamone said the Western Reserve Transit Authority (WRTA) doesn’t provide county-wide services.
Between the county transit, the county’s senior levy and the Board of Developmental Disabilities, they will get over $500,000 of federal money with no local match, which will be used starting Nov. 1. All of that money was left over from 2018 to 2020, which causes a problem for 2023.
“Next go around, that’s not going to be there. So we might end up with only $200,000 of that money,” Salamone said.
Before COVID-19 and before the WRTA helping, the county was doing about 90,000 trips. With current funding, they can only do about 50,000.
“Post COVID, whenever that is going to be, we should do more than 50,000 trips which equates to more funds than what we’re getting this year,” said Diane Siskowic-Jurkovic, Trumbull County’s senior levy administrator.
But right now, the county is still figuring out how much money they need and they are still collecting data before they come up with a figure. Then, maybe they’ll put something on the ballot.
“We don’t want to put a $6 million figure on a problem that might be $3 million or $2 million. That’s not smart business,” said Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa.
Vienna Township Trustee Phil Pegg is concerned about a future levy.
“It’s just what’s coming back to the township for what we’re giving,” he said.
Cantalamessa said that the numbers are showing township and city rides are close to even.