Transit services ask Knightdale for $38,000 in upcoming budget

mhankerson@newsobserver.comMarch 25, 2014 

— In the annual budget meeting to determine how much money can be dedicated to nonprofits, transportation services asked the town for $38,000, about 25 percent of all the money nonprofits asked for in the upcoming fiscal year.

In the current fiscal year, the town had $129, 097 dedicated to nonprofits. In the upcoming year, nonprofits have asked the town for a total of $153,704.

The second-highest request for this year came from East Wake Express services from Triangle Transit, including the Knightdale-Raleigh Express route, looking for $23,000, $6,000 less than the amount they received this year.

Knightdale Finance Director Jimmy Overton said Triangle Tranist received a grant that allowed the company to ask all localities using the service for a little less money than normal.

“In the years Triangle Transit gets grants, it makes things easier (for us),” Overton said. In years when Triangle Transit did not have grant money, Overton said the town was looking at almost $40,000 for the agency.

Triangle Transit officials anticipate less grant money in the upcoming years because of changes to federal grant structuring, director of regional services development for Triangle Transit John Tallmadge said in February.

According to Triangle Transit’s Communications Director Brad Schulz, if Knightdale decides not to pay their share into the service, it would be discontinued with a 90-day notice.

Overton said transportation is one thing the town is working to have more of, so not paying would not be the town’s plan of action.

TRACS, Wake County’s service for non-urbanized areas, asked to triple the amount of money the town dedicated to it last year. In fiscal year 2014, the town set aside $5,000 aside for TRACS.

This year, TRACS is asking for $15,000, although Overton said that has been the case for at least the past two years.

Mayor Russell Killen said there are a few families in town who have children with disabilities who use the TRACS service, which is why the town will continue to pay into the service.

Other requests

The most expensive nonprofit request came from East Wake Television, which is a joint project between Knightdale, Wendell, Zebulon and Rolesville. The station asked the town for $64,704 for fiscal year 2015, which begins on July 1, 2014.

As of Jan. 31, 2014, the town had given East Wake Television $16,176.12. The town anticipates paying out another $48,528.36 before June 30.

Money for East Wake TV comes from a state grant, though, so the amount is not negotiable, Overton said.

The town had proposals from 14 different nonprofits. All but two of the groups, Big Brothers Big Sisters and HopeLine Inc., received money from the town this year.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is known for its mentoring program. It asked the town for $1,500.

HopeLine is a confidential support hotline for issues like drug abuse or sexual assault. It asked the town for $5,000.

Both organizations are based in Raleigh and serve the entire Triangle region.

Overton said the budget committee does not make recommendations to council about which nonprofits to fund. Council will review the requests and hold another meeting before deciding how much to give to each organization.

Hankerson: 919-829-4826; Twitter: @easternwakenews

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