PRINCETON — The City of Bluefield has asked the Mercer County Commission to step up their level of funding for the Bluefield Area Transit.
Commission President Mike Vinciguerra said Tuesday morning that the commission had received a letter from the city requesting additional funds for the transit authority.
However, Vinciguerra seemed unsure if the county would be able to find the additional funds to increase their support.
“They’re coming to present this on Tuesday,” Vinciguerra told fellow commissioner Gene Buckner, County Coordinator Vicky Reed, and others at the agenda setting meeting. “I think at the very least we should let them present it. If we can’t find the money, then we can table it at that time.”
The only place the county had funds available is the Video Lottery fund according to Vinciguerra.
“I don’t think we should do that,” Reed told Vinciguerra. “We keep that money in case there is an emergency in the county that we need to take care of.”
The commission is expected to decide to fund the measure or table it at the February meeting of the Mercer County Commission. The meeting will take place on Feb. 12 at 10 a.m. in the County Courtroom.
Previously, Bluefield Mayor Linda Whalen said that the city would lose a $30,000 credit when the transit system moves from a location in downtown Bluefield to a state-funded location on John Nash Boulevard.
Whalen added that the transit system serves more than the city of Bluefield and serves over 15,000 riders in McDowell and Mercer Counties. She said the McDowell County portion of the route is paid because of the county’s demographic situation.
Whalen’s view is confirmed by the schedules listed on the Bluefield Area Transit’s website. The site lists routes of North Bluefield, South Bluefield, Bluefield to Princeton, Princeton, Princeton to Bluefield, Welch to Bluefield, Welch to Gary, and Welch to Big Four, Premier and Hemphill.
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