Polk transit service to cease at the end of month

After July 1, residents of Polk County who get around on the Polk County transit buses will have to make other arrangements. In a measure to trim money off the fiscal year 2010 budget, commissioners voted to cut funding for the service. County manager Clinton Lester said the director and dispatcher would be offered jobs at the 911 Center where each was formerly employed. The four bus drivers will be given opportunity for other available jobs with the county or priority when a position is vacant. Bus drivers are currently informing riders of the termination of the service and plans are to print information sheets that will be given to these individuals. Issues with the transit operation surfaced during budget meetings, according to Lester. These included the fact that $100,000 state and $170,000 local money was used. After July 1, the buses will be returned to state government. Commissioner Sandra Galloway was instrumental in getting the service started in 2005. She pointed out that riders used the buses to visit the doctor or purchase groceries and emphasized the fact that the county board offers few services to Polk residents.