Carroll County commissioners approved at their March 23 meeting a second trial period of extended service hours, as well as new policies, for the county transit department after transit director Sonja Leggett reported increased ridership from the first trial period.
Changes will take effect after a 30-day public comment, which began March 24 and ends on April 24, and after Leggett receives state approval.
Commissioners approved changing service hours again from a start time of 7:30 a.m. to 6 a.m. and changing transit's closing time from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. New policies were also set for cancellations and wait time.
Leggett said cancellations from riders must be received two hours prior to the scheduled pick-up time or the individual will be considered a late cancel, which carries a fee of half the cost of the scheduled trip.
Riders will be charged an additional $10 per hour if the driver is required to wait for them longer than one hour and 15 minutes, which Leggett noted is particularly applicable to out-of-town trips and extended shopping trips.
The transit department reported success with its first trial period of extended hours, which ended in late February this year. Leggett said the department saw a 16-percent increase in the number of trips it provided between September to February in 2015-16 versus that same five-month period in 2016-2017.
In those periods, transit provided an additional 401 trips between the new 6 a.m. start time and 7:30 a.m. It provided 427 additional trips between the previous close time of 4:30 p.m. and the new close time of 6 p.m.
Increased ridership provided a 9-percent boost to the department's budget; however, Leggett noted that the boost has not fully mitigated budget losses resulting from the state's funding cuts to rural transit budgets.
Comments from the public regarding extended service hours may be mailed to Carroll County Transit or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org until April 24.
In other business, the board:
APPROVED a motion to accept proposals from private and public non-profit organizations for funding from the county's Community Historic Preservation Fund. The $100,000 fund, which resulted from a fine that Rover Pipeline paid for demolishing the Stoneman House in Leesville, can be used to support the preservation of historic places and buildings in the county.
HEARD the County Dog Pound report for March 19 25: eight dogs impounded, three adopted, three redeemed, no citations for no license and one citation for running at large. One dog was euthanized because of injuries.
ANNOUNCED that beginning April 1 the dog warden will go door-to-door to verify dog licenses. Residents can still purchase a license for $24. A $100 fine will be charged to dog owners who are cited for no license.
ANNOUNCED the board will accept bids up to the bid opening at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 24, in the commissioners office, for the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund/Household Sewer Treatment System program.
Bids will be accepted for the following: Bid 3A installation of two NPDES septic systems; Bid 3B installation of three NPDES septic systems.
APPROVED a contract of $30,410 with Dayton Excavating to install three NPDES septic systems at residences on Steubenville, Kensington and Lakewood roads for the household sewer program.
ANNOUNCED that the 2016 annual report for the county health department is on file in the commissioners office.
HELD a closed-door meeting with attorney Tim Campbell, of Hanna Campbell and Powell, regarding a worker's compensation claim. The board approved a motion to proceed with the appeal process for the claim.
ACCEPTED bids for concrete, road materials, asphalt materials and road oil as recommended by County Engineer Brian Wise.
ACCEPTED the bid of Lykins Energy Solutions, of Minerva, for petroleum diesel fuel as recommended by Wise.
ANNOUNCED that Brian Wise filed a report on an annexation petition for 17 acres filed by Chaela Enterprises, LLC, which operates the Centreville Village assisted living facility on state Route 9 outside of Carrollton. Wise determined that the petition's description follows the plat and is accurate.
The board of commissioners also announced that the Village of Carrollton had filed a statement of services it will provide to residents in the area that is proposed to be annexed if the annexation is approved.
Board Vice President Robert Wirkner said Chaela Enterprises is seeking the annexation because it plans to expand the Centreville facility.