Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Budget, AA Study Focus of Monday Board Meeting

September is budget hearing time for HART, as we seek input and approval for the next year's funding. Last night, the HART Board of Directors sat down for the first of two meetings on the agency's 2011 budget.

The 2011 Amended Proposed Operating Budget is $62 million, which encompasses operating costs for buses, paratransit service for people with disabilities, HART Flex service, and the TECO Line Streetcar System.

Next year's budget reflects a decrease of $3.5 million in ad valorem (local property tax revenue). Despite the shortfall, HART is working to maintain service by seeking out operating efficiencies and leveraging state and federal funding.

To view the complete 2011 proposed budget, click here.

The second and final public hearing on HART's 2011 budget is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Monday, September 27 at HART's administrative offices, 1201 E. 7th Avenue in Ybor City.

Alternatives Analysis
The AA update brought board members and the public up to speed on the study's latest findings. HART is working with important potential partners like CSX Transportation and the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority on possible routes and destinations for a future light rail system. In fact, HART's AA team reported last night that the Aviation Authority is looking at a couple of options for a light rail operations facility at the airport, possibly expediting a potential airport connection.

You can read news coverage of the update at Mitch Perry's Creative Loafing blog, and in today's article by the Tampa Tribune's Ted Jackovics at TBO.com.

Driver of the Month
HART's drivers are some of the best in the business, and the Board of Directors took time Monday to recognize this month's honoree, Mr. Pedro Irizarry. Pedro joined the HART team as a bus driver in April 2007, and in that time has shown outstanding professionalism and dedication to HART and our community. Congratulations Pedro!

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