05/02/10 — GATEWAY looks for center site; board looks at proposed budget

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GATEWAY looks for center site; board looks at proposed budget

By Steve Herring
Published in News on May 2, 2010 1:50 AM

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The former Chrysler Dodge dealership on U.S. 70 Bypass is one of three locations being considered for a new GATEWAY bus system operations and maintenance center.

Three locations are under consideration as a possible site to house an operations and maintenance center for the Goldsboro-Wayne Transportation Authority's GATEWAY bus system.

A consultant will review the center plans and those locations at the authority's May 25 meeting. The meeting will start at 10 a.m. in the large upstairs conference room at the City Hall Annex.

The three properties include county-owned land near the animal shelter on Clingman Street, the former W.P. Rose building on James Street and the former Chrysler Dodge dealership just off U.S. 70 East near William Street.

Goldsboro-Wayne Transportation Authority director Alan Stubbs said the consultant would talk about the pro and cons of each location at the May meeting.

The final decision will rest with the authority board, Stubbs said.

"The Chrysler dealership is a very expensive corner property," County Manager Lee Smith said during the authority's Tuesday morning meeting. "You have got to look at taking it off the tax books. You need to look at the highest and best use (of property)."

In other business, the board adopted operating and capital budgets for both the urban and rural sides of the system. Approval followed a public hearing during which no one from the public spoke.

The budget includes:

* $1,355,505 for the Rural Administrative and Operating Fund

* $291,255 for a Rural Capital Fund, which includes $184,500 for three 22-foot lift-equipped light transit vehicles ($61,500 each) and $27,500 for a mini-van. Another $45,500 is included for 13 mobile radios ($3,500 each) that will be compatible with the county's new radio system. Smith said the cost of the radios could be reduced, probably by as much as $1,000 apiece, by adding them to the ones being purchased by the county.

* $2,956,340 for a Urban Capital Fund, which includes $700,000 in federal stimulus monies to purchase two new buses. One is a replacement bus and the other is an expansion vehicle. Another $1,694,575 is earmarked for the GATEWAY transfer station at Union Station.

* $211,241 for the Urban Capital Operating Fund

* $725,844 for the Urban Operating Fund.

The board also gave tentative approval to two policies, one regarding cell phone usage by drivers and the other regarding the system's desire not to offer charter services.

Stubbs said some systems have a zero tolerance policy and do not allow cell phone use at all.

Currently, vans that transport riders out of county have cell phones. The drivers may use them, but are required to pull over out of traffic and to stop. Stubbs said use of personal cell phones is discouraged when clients are in the bus.

County attorney Borden Parker said that wording in both policies was unclear in some areas.

Board members asked Parker to review the policies and make the wording clearer. They approved the policies contingent on Parker reworking the wording to make the policies clearer.