By MIKE WILLIAMS
Pulaski Town Council learned Tuesday night it is being looked to for another $46,000 in funding for Pulaski Area Transit.
Council had previously budgeted the requested $70,000 for the transit in its 2023-24 budget that took effect July 1.
However, officials from PAT reported Tuesday the transit had been awarded several grants from the state Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT). The grants include operating funds for the transit, money for the repair of an engine in one of the transit buses and for replacement of three old buses.
The buses being replaced will be sold on govdeals.com, according to Transit Manager Monica Musick, with proceeds from the sale going back to DRPT.
While receiving the grants is good news, there is the downside of the transit having to come up with $46,000 in local match funds.
The local match funding was news to council members and Town Manager Darlene Burcham.
“The town’s budget for this year doesn’t include $46,000 for a local match. We’d have to find it in the budget,” noted Vice Mayor Brooks Dawson, who added council and town administration “had to do some trimming to get the town budget balanced as it is.”
Dawson said it may be much harder to come up with the match money “than anyone wants it to be.”
Transit officials at the meeting noted this is the earliest they could provide the local match numbers after hearing from DRPT.
Dawson said in order to provide the money, council and staff would have to go back to the budget and figure out where the money could come from.
Transit officials told council the grant money would not be available until Oct.1.
“So, we need to let you know by Oct. 1, is that right,” asked Mayor Shannon Collins. “That gives us time to figure out what we can do.”
Councilman Michael Reis suggested PAT provide council with a timeline on when it must decide on providing the money, how much to give and when the money would actually be needed.
In other news:
- Pulaski Police Officer Andrew Doney presented Sgt. C.J. Dickerson with the Army Freedom Award for his support of members of the Army Reserve and National Guard.
Doney, who was a Military Police officer in the Army and now serves as a 1st Lieutenant in the Army Reserves said the Department of Defense provides the award to those who show employer support for those in the Guard and Reserves.
“The award recognizes supervisors and agencies that care about employees who are Reserve and Guard officers,” Doney said.
He said in some cases, such officers are often fired or mistreated due to their Guard and Reserve service.
“But not at the Pulaski Police Department,” Doney said before presenting Dickerson with the award.
- Burcham reported that a representative with Congressman Morgan Griffith’s office had contacted the town and said Pulaski had made the list of localities whose request for water line replacement funds had been sent on to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Burcham said the amount included was not as much as the town had requested, but some localities failed to make the list at all.
- She reported the town’s new pickleball courts at 6th Street Park will be officially opened in a ceremony Friday at 11:30 a.m. at the park.