Board of Finance Restores $60,000 of Transit Budget

Board of Finance Restores $60,000 of Transit Budget

on the shuttle bus (day 32)
Image by jspad via Flickr

During the April 6 meeting of the Board of Finance, members decided, in a five to two vote, to restore $60,000 of the $100,000 cut from the Westport Transit budget during the prior meeting.

Westport Transit Co-Director Bud Titsworth proposed four plans to reduce the cost of public transport in Westport. By eliminating the Nyala Farm, Pepperidge Farm and Norton Park shuttle, along with increasing the fare by $0.50, approximately $40,000 would be saved.

The Board of Finance restored the remaining $60,000 of the cut budget. The two members who opposed the restorations, Brian Stern and Avi Kaner argued that the bus routes were inefficient and the full $00,000 should be cut from the budget.

An emotional plea was made by elderly Westport resident, Annette Winston. Winston described that she is heavily dependent upon the Westport Transit’s door-to-door service to take her to the Senior Center for activities five days per week, along with doctor’s appointments. Winston pleaded with Board of Finance not to cut the door-to-door service. The Board of Finance reassured her that the door-to-door service would not be impacted by the Transit budget cuts.

The Board of Finance unanimously voted to appropriate $1,200,000 to the Pension Budget Account to pay for the OPEB (Other Post-Employment Benefits) Trust Fund.

In a four to two, the Board of Finance rejected First Selectmen Gordon Joseloff’s proposal for an appropriation of $10,000 to appraise the property at Baron’s South. The goal of the property was to provide housing and medical care for Westport’s elderly population.

The Board of Finance decided that the final 2011 and 2012 municipal and town wide school budget would be increased by 2.08 percent over last year, making it $178,700,000.