The Boulder Junction town board, using the same reasoning the Manitowish Waters town board expressed earlier this month, recently approved a $2,500 contribution to Northwoods Transit Connections.
In recent months, both. board have been approached by NTC manager Roger Youngren, who explained details of a new route that would run from Boulder Junction to Manitowish Waters and then to Woodruff every other Monday and every Friday.
NTC began that route on Jan. 1.
At the Feb. 11 Manitowish Waters town board meeting, board members were informed to that point, there hadn't been any riders from Manitowish Waters but the town board OK'd the donation, agreeing to give the route a year.
Last week, Boulder Junction town chairman Dennis Reuss told supervisors Laura Bertch and Jim Galloway he'd spoken to Manitowish Waters town chairman John Hanson and a representative with the Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce and "there has been zero usage" of the NTC route.
Galloway, in making a motion approve the $2,500 donation, said that wasn't accurate as he'd spoken to Youngren the previous Friday.
"We have had three riders," he said. "It was the same person each time from the same location going to a medical appointment. I think it's early in the game and I also think it's worth $2,500 to discover whether this is going to provide a significant service to our community."
Reuss said he agreed the route was new and few people were used to it.
"But I think once people know it's available, they'll start using it," he said.
"John (Hanson) felt the same way that as we get into warmer weather, people are going to be using the service."
Galloway agreed with the idea of giving it a year and said he also had an idea for the source of funds since it hadn't been budgeted for 2020.
"I would recommend we do a budget adjustment to take the $2,500 out of the Christmas decoration fund," he said, adding it was just over $20,000.
With a history in recent months of noting a lack of budget amendment resolutions in recent years, Galloway said the budget adjustment should be made by resolution at the next regular town board meeting.
"I would add that to the motion," he said.
Brian Jopek may be reached via email at email@example.com
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