07/28/10 — GATEWAY board looks at changes

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GATEWAY board looks at changes

By Steve Herring
Published in News on July 28, 2010 1:46 PM

City Council and county commissioners will be asked to make changes in the make-up of Goldsboro-Wayne Transportation Authority board that oversees operation of the GATEWAY bus system.

Authority members Tuesday morning said that the ex-officio seat that rotates annually between a city and county appointee should be changed. The term is so short that the person does not have enough time to become adjusted to the office before it is time to be replaced, members said.

The city and county appoint three members each to the board. On alternating years they appoint a fourth ex-officio member so that one governing board has four members on the authority.

For fiscal year 201-11, it is the city's turn to have four members.

Some questions were raised as to why it was necessary to have an odd number of members. The response was in order to break tie votes.

The alternating years were set up to ensure that neither the city nor county was always the dominant group, said County Attorney Borden Parker.

Parker suggested that City Council and commissioners be asked to continue to appoint three members each and to allow those six to select the seventh member.

City Councilman and authority Chairman Don Chatman suggested that current ex-officio member John Chance be considered for that slot.

The board approved a motion to make that recommendation to the city and county and asked Parker to draft the necessary wording.

In other business, Chatman was re-elected as authority board chairman. County finance officer Pam Holt was elected vice chairman and City Councilman Bob Waller was re-elected secretary/ treasurer.

The board voted to continue a tradition of providing free in-city bus rides during the state's annual tax-free weekend for school supplies.

The tax-free weekend will be observed Aug. 6-7. On those days people may ride the city buses free of charge.

Authority Director Alan Stubbs told board members that Berkeley Mall officials had asked that GATEWAY's 35-foot bus no longer be driven close to the mall building.

Stubbs said he agreed because traffic in that area can be "too congested."

Stubbs said the stop would be moved from the mall parking lot to an area on North Berkeley Boulevard near the mall entrance. Parker suggested that the authority ensures that the public knows that the change was initiated by mall officials and not GATEWAY.

The stop will include a concrete pad, bench and shelter and is expected to be ready in September.

Stubbs said that in the past benches for the stops could cost as much as $600.

He said that he had spent about $65 to purchase treated lumber and had used an existing a damaged bench frame to build a new bench.

The board approved a resolution with the state Department of Transportation to reimburse the authority for a feasibility study for a maintenance facility for GATEWAY.

The study, which was completed several months ago, cost about $42,000 and was split $24,000 for the rural side of GATEWAY and $18,000 for the urban operation.

The resolution clears the way for the state to reimburse the cost associated with the rural operation. All but roughly $2,000, which was required as a local match, will be refunded.