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Legislature Calls for Payment of Overdue Transit Aid

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Legislature Calls for Payment of Overdue Transit Aid

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The Tompkins County Legislature is calling upon New York State to immediately come through with State Transit Operating Assistance, where quarterly payments have been delayed in absence of a state budget. Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) was forced to undertake unbudgeted short-term borrowing to make payroll during the quarter, assuming that borrowing will be sufficient only if a state budget is approved by the end of that period. The measure notes that STOA funds included in a recent emergency spending bill is not sufficient to cover expenses, and that unless funding comes soon, the system could be forced to consider service reductions. Legislator Frank Proto, who also chairs the TCAT board, noted STOA accounts for 36% of TCAT's budget and lack of STOA funding affects all upstate transit systems.

The Legislature's action "strongly urges the State Legislature act now to adopt a state budget and to appropriate the transit aid to avoid further harm to TCAT operations and the local economy" and, if a state budget is not passed soon, to find another mechanism to appropriate and release sufficient STOA money.