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Commission moves to hike MCATS fare

Published 3:31pm Friday, August 29, 2014

Morgan County Commission made a move to generate more local revenue for the Morgan County Area Transportation System at an adjourned meeting Thursday.

A motion was approved to conduct a pubic hearing in September to take input on a proposal to raise the MCATS fare from $1 to $2 for those using the public transportation system within the Decatur city limits.

A $2 fare is already being collected from passengers boarding an MCATS bus outside of Decatur.

Commission members discussed a revenue shortfall for MCATS in FY2014-2015 at a budget review meeting.

Commission Chairman Ray Long said anticipated expenses for the department are projected to be about $200,000 more than projected revenue.

“Decatur appropriates $150,000 a year to MCATS,” he said, “and that hasn’t changed since I’ve been here. There has been no increase in fares since 1999, even though gas prices have increased dramatically.”

Long recommended that the bus fare be increased to $2 in Decatur, effective Oct. 1, 2014. He also said the commission should look to the City of Decatur for an appropriation increase the following fiscal year.

Long said he is working to finalize budget reviews with the various departments and have a proposed fiscal budget ready for consideration at a meeting on Sept. 25.

The commission acted on other matters as follows:

•Approved $2,980 from the Tourism, Recreation & Convention Fund payable to the Decatur Daily for the 2015 Area Guide, Membership Directory and Business Pages.

•Authorized the chairman to execute the service agreement between the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office and Morgan County Juvenile Probation office to provide services to the Morgan County System of Services.

•Approved payment of $3,000 to Alabama Mountains Rivers and Valleys Resource Conservation and Development Council for membership dues for the Morgan County Commission, payable out of the general fund.

•Authorized the chairman to execute the environmental covenant between the Morgan County Commission and City of Decatur governing activities and/or use limitations to the Decatur-Morgan County Regional MSW Landfill.

•Authorized the Morgan County Juvenile Drug Court to apply for the FY2015 Problem Solving Court funding in the amount of $20,000.

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