10/09/09 — Transit plans surprise some

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Transit plans surprise some

By Steve Herring
Published in News on October 9, 2009 2:00 PM

Two members of the Goldsboro-Wayne Transpor-tation Authority expressed surprise this week that the authority's GATEWAY transfer station will be located in a new building and not the renovated Union Station.

Authority Director Alan Stubbs reminded the board that a presentation was scheduled for today for the Union Station project. It was while he was displaying a large framed print of how the station is expected to look when questions were raised about the transfer station.

"We are going to have a building there with nobody using it," said board and City Council member Bob Waller. "The city is going to have the upkeep of it and I have problems. I have told you that. I didn't know you were going to build that. Nobody told me you were going to build a new transfer station."

Stubbs said the new station had been discussed and had been part of the project since its inception.

"You didn't make it clear to me you were going to build one," Waller said.

Member John Chance said, "I didn't realize that either. I had always thought the game plan from the beginning was to use Union Station as a transfer station for everything."

Authority board Chairman Bruce Gates said that the study started out that way, but "went off in a different direction.

"It was a space issue when the new building came up," said board and City Council member Don Chatman.

"Space? What kind of space issue?" Waller wanted to know.

Stubbs said that the state Department of Transportation had wanted to save the Union Station space for trains.

"That's fine, but how much space do you need for the train?" Waller said. "How many passengers are going to ride the train? It is going to sit there vacant for 15 years until the train comes. Is that what you are telling me?"

Stubbs said that was not his department.

"But somebody is going to have to maintain it and that is what my concern is," Waller said.

Gates said some space upstairs at Union Station could be leased to GATEWAY for office space.

Waller said that the authority board should have been "integral" in the planning process.

Gates said board members had been invited to all project steering committee meetings.

Waller said he had probably just missed it.

"I will take the blame myself," he said.

In other business, the board approved a study to determine how best to proceed on a new maintenance facility.

"It is something we are putting together, whether the maintenance facility for GATEWAY should be a combined facility with Wayne County and the city, or GATEWAY and the county or GATEWAY and the city, or if they should all be separate," Stubbs said.

It also will look at whether the work should be outsourced and at the GATEWAY administrative and operations offices.

"The feasibility study is something that has to be done before GATEWAY can apply for federal funds," he said.

The cost will be shared by GATEWAY, the county and the city, he said.

The board also elected new officers.

Chatman was elected chairman and county Commissioner J.D. Evans, who was just appointed to the board by the county, was elected vice-chairman. Waller was re-elected as secretary/treasurer.