Grays Harbor Transit service budget cut could involve tax increase
The Grays Harbor Transit Authority Board is waiting to look at additional options before deciding how to handle their unexpected lack of state funding.
Tuesday night, the board was set to decide on the preferred option to reduce their budget by over $800,000. At the meeting, Grays Harbor County Commissioner Frank Gordon introduced a motion to put a tax increase on the November ballot to increase the general fund without permanently cutting services. This would put the burden of savings directly onto the residents.
Westport Mayor Michael Bruce spoke out against the motion, saying that while he agrees it would add the money needed, it is not a sure thing.
The board voted to look back at additional options for saving money starting in November, whether a ballot measure passes or not.
Currently, the option given that impacts the least riders would cut out weekend service and bring approximately $895,000 a year to the budget. In all the options, the majority of savings come from a reduction in wages and benefits, and not from route changes and fare increases.
No matter the option chosen, General Manager Mark Carlin told KXRO that changes need to be made soon to save the Authority from over spending between now and June of 2014 when funding from a ballot measure would take effect.
Carlin will bring options back to the board on Wednesday, July 17th, at 5 pm for a special workshop on the issue. At that time, a vote is expected to finalize the option that impacts the least residents.