City Council denies bus funding, citing poor management


This Okaloosa County Transit route 11 bus may soon be idled when funding for Crestview's two routes expires Feb. 4.

BRIAN HUGHES / News Bulletin
Published: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 01:26 PM.

CRESTVIEW — The City Council, citing poor management and lack of representation on the Okaloosa County Transit board, is denying funding for city bus routes.

The council's 2-3 vote Monday evening followed a lengthy debate led by Council President Robyn Helt, who reminded OCT and county officials that allowing city funding depended on having a voice in bus operations.

"You're asking for our money but not allowing us any oversight or say in how it is used," Helt said.

In October 2013, the Board of County Commissioners, which pays half the Crestview bus routes' $96,250 operation cost, demanded the city pay the other half. The council agreed, expecting to use money from the city's share of the increased county gasoline tax.

Commissioners then changed their demand, requesting $13,125 to fund the routes only until Feb. 4. The city council agreed.

The county has failed to return the signed memorandum of understanding establishing the agreement, so the city has not yet paid its share, City Clerk Betsy Roy stated in an agenda brief.

Recently, county officials again changed their minds and decided to fund the two bus routes through the rest of the fiscal year.

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