Employee's expertise was very helpful
Idaho Transportation Department
Trans IV and the soft money budget allocation committee from the city of Twin Falls met on last Monday to discuss our request for additional funding and support for public transportation and Trans IV.
We asked Butch Ragsdale to attend the meeting to explain the funding process and the match requirement to obtain Federal Funding. Butch did an exceptional job explaining the current programs and how each funding source could be used.
Butch led the discussion of the benefits Twin Falls would receive from the additional funding. Butch discussed the future of public transportation in the Magic Valley based on the potential Small Metropolitan Area if we reach the targeted density and population base of 50,000 by 2010. Butch also shared some of the struggles that other communities had to deal with because of the lack of preparation these communities had done prior to gaining Small Metropolitan status.
Butch was able to get the city of Twin Falls to begin thinking of funding public transportation as a budgeted line item rather than the current method of providing funds through a soft money grant request proposal. We have been working on this change of mindset for some time.
The question was asked about how Twin Falls would gain by additional funds from the city and if the funds would directly benefit Twin Falls residences. Our current allotment from Twin Falls has been $21,000 which we were requesting to be increased by $19,000 to a new request of $40,000.
Butch helped them see that the $21,000 was not even close to what the citizens of city Twin Falls receive in services and that the potential $40,000 we are requesting remains a small portion of the cost of a public system. I believe that when they left the meeting that they felt fortunate that we only asked for the amount requested.
We were told that, based on the clarification or our request, they would re-evaluate our request and look at additional funding. We have been notified subsequently that we will receive additional funding of $7,600 which brings Twin Falls financial contribution to $28,600. This is a good start and we are happy with the progress.
Trans IV and the College of Southern Idaho feel very fortunate to have Butch and ITD support the mission of public transportation in the Magic Valley. On behalf of the College of Southern Idaho and Trans IV Advisory Board, I would like to thank Butch for his help and professionalism in the meeting with Twin Falls.
I am certain that without Butch’s input we would not be heading in the direction we currently are with Twin Falls and would not have received the additional funding we did receive.
Jeffery M. Harmon