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CET working toward more stable funding

By Kandra Kent
Published On: Jan 08 2014 08:41:03 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 09 2014 11:58:04 AM CST

Central Oregon Intergovernmental Councilors met with Deschutes County Commissioners Wednesday to discuss new strategies for securing funding for public transportation.

BEND, Ore. -

The region's troubled transit system is closer to finding more stable funding.

Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council and Cascades East Transit officials met Wednesday afternoon with Deschutes County commissioners, discussing short-term and long-term funding opportunities.

COIC Executive Director Andrew Spreadborough said CET has dealt with unstable funding since the regional transit system started in 2008.

He said the bus system is funded by three sources: fares, federal dollars and local funding. Spreadborough said the local funding is a troubling area -- money is often cobbled together year to year, with little stability or predictability.

Spreadborough said long-term, the group could ask for permanent, public dollars through a special money measure.

Short-term, the program hopes to form more secure and formal partnerships with rural cities and entities like OSU-Cascades and St. Charles.

"It's a matter of looking at those contributions," Spreadborough said.  "Are they sufficient? Where do we need to fill in the budget? And how do we work together to do that? It, may result in cities being asked to contribute higher amounts, it may not.  We're not certain until we kind of dig into that information."

Spreadborough said funding from the city of Bend is not an issue.

COIC's subcommittee working on the transit funding issues will hold a final meeting on Friday, Jan. 24 at Redmond City Hall, from 9 a.m. to noon.

The group will make final funding recommendations to the COIC Board on Feb. 6th at 5:30 p.m. at Redmond Public Works.

Spreadborough said COIC doesn't have any plans to cut more CET services, for the time being.

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