Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Inside The Numbers With Kimball County Transit

 


As Kimball County Transit Service nears moving day to its $1.47 million new home in downtown Kimball, KCTS administrator Christy Warner’s report on the agency’s 2019-20 fiscal year offers insight on the agency’s mission, funding and operations.

Warner presented the report at the June 16 meeting of the county commissioners. Here’s a look at it, starting with her overall report on KCTS funding and then getting into how the service is funded and where its money goes.

“KCTS is funded,” she explained, “through several sources, including cash fares, insurance payments, grants, federal state and local tax.

“The Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) has put a huge emphasis on on public transportation in rural areas. There is a direct connection between keeping people in their homes by giving them access to basic human needs and the stability of the rural communities. The FTA 5311 grant provides a formula for rural public transportation.

“KCTS has strived to meet the demand of the communities’ residents. We continue to have new needs arise from riders and communities. Some of the additional services we are providing is delivering 200 school lunches per day, 25-40 Meals on Wheels daily, and errand services, such as delivering groceries and pharmacy.

“As we move forward, we are looking to provide things such as a weekend service and community involvement with the building.”

The majority of KCTS funding for drivers, fuel and other expenses comes from federal and state reimbursements. Minus cash fares, the FTA and NDOT reimburse KCTS a combined 75 percent for drivers and fuel and 90 percent for other expenses. Helping with the remaining balance are Medicaid revenue, grants, donations and county property taxes.

Here’s the breakdown of funding received through May this fiscal year, according to the report:

• $244,410, FTA grant.

• $40,926, Medicaid.

• $31,729, cash fares.

• $110,071, grants, donations

• $40,000, property tax ($5.60 per $100,000 of home value.

Meanwhile, the transit service’s expenses through May total $377,431.

Now on to the building project.

Expected building costs are $1.18 million for construction, $180,000 for fixtures and equipment, $39,500 to purchase the building and $75,000 for the engineer and architect.

The FTA is reimbursing 80% of construction costs and 100% of costs for furniture and equipment. The remaining balance comes from county property tax that for a taxpayer amounts to $49.42 per $100,000 of home value.

In addition, the county charges KCTS rent to get the property tax reimbursed. The rent is considered a nonoperating expense and will be reimbursed with federal money.

Warner also provided figures on the types of rides that KCTS has given this year and the types of fares it collects.

Types of rides: 3,463 (38%) for medical, 3,387 (37%) for services and 2,274 (25%) for food/shopping.

Types of fares: 40,926 (56%) Medicaid and 31,729 (44%) cash.

 

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