PARKERSBURG - The Mid-Ohio Valley Transit Authority decided to pursue the sale of its First Street property at Tuesday's meeting.
The property located near the floodwall in downtown Parkersburg needs maintenance and cleaning, and once the fuel tanks are removed from the ground gases could leak through.
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection will offer assistance for any necessary accommodations should gases be present when the fuel tanks are removed. The board said the MOVTA's insurance does not cover the clean-up needed and the budget doesn't allow for the necessary precautions.
Photo by Mandi Cardosi
Mid-Ohio Valley Transit Vice President Belinda Fetty, right, and Secretary Jim Asbury, left, listen to the revisions of the budget at Tuesday’s meeting of the transit authority.
"The question proposed is do we want to stay down there or look someplace else," said MOVTA General Manager Tim Thomas.
Thomas said a grant received by the MOVTA can go towards building a new garage, but would not cover the costs of repairs on the First Street garage.
Another topic of discussion was the revision of the MOVTA budget. The current budget had left out a few things that are being added in the audit which is currently taking place.
A new legislative law for the post-employment benefits of retirees will effect transit authority employees.
The business must operate with new retirement rates, introduced by a bill from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. Other add-ons to the budget included route maintenance and mechanics, other retirement benefits, fuel maintenance costs and increases towards computers and mapping systems.
Thomas said the maps allow riders of the buses access to the routes online.
The new route adding Coldwater Creek to the busing system has brought an immediate rise in ridership. Thomas said as of Tuesday about 125 extra people boarded those buses, adding to the initial 137 people who boarded when the route took effect on Sept. 1.
Board Vice President Belinda Fetty raised concerns about the revision to the budget.
"Our budget always includes employees, retirement, and all," she said. "Will the budget revision cover everything adequately?"
Thomas assured the board there was only a slight increase from the previous drop in rates, as far as retirement, and a substantial increase in the overall operating budget.
"We just had to take out of those categories and put in the general budget," he said.