Arrowhead Transit Budget Cut, Pine County Loses a Bus

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008 at 6:27 am

America’s economic hardships are weighing heavy on all facet of life. On Tuesday, the Pine County Board learned that now includes their upcoming public transit system. Jack Larson is the Transit Director with Arrowhead Transit. He told the board that Mn/DOT cut the system budget in half and that means Pine County will get one less bus when the service begins in January.

Larson told the board he found out about the budget cut about an hour before the meeting. The board agreed to re-evaluate the situation in a week, when both parties have a chance to sit down and look at the significance of the cuts to the program. Board Chair, Steve Hallan, says despite the setback, it is important to get the transit program off the ground in Pine County.

The cuts mean Pine County will operated with three buses instead of four. Originally plans were in place to use five buses in the county. Larson did tell the board that the ’09 budget factored gas expenses at $3.50, but says that won’t make a major difference.

Also at Tuesday’s Board meeting, The board agreed to increase the ratings of three county positions. The Executive Assistant is retitled office manager, and the Jail Administrator and County Recorder both get increases. The changes between the three positions means about $10,000 in raises, according to Interim coordinator Mark LeBrun. Commissioner Roger Nelson gave the lone vote of opposition.

The board will have a a Committee of the Whole meeting to discuss a contract with PHASE Recycling program. County Attorney John Carlson reviewed the specifics of the contract. The proposed contract is for five years and requires the county to pay $81,000 a year for equipment necessary for the project, and $9,000 a month for administration of the recycling program.

The board also moved forward with a pawn shop ordinance. A public meeting will be held on December 16th.

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