OLEAN — The city moved ahead to renew agreements to keep the Olean Area Transit System rolling another year.
The Common Council approved a new agreement with several partner agencies for the 2018-19 fiscal year on Tuesday. Participating agencies include:
• The Cattaraugus County Department of Social Services, which will contribute $14,774.02.
• NYSARC Inc., Cattaraugus County Chapter, commonly known as The ReHabilitation Center, which will contribute $38,921.66.
• The Seneca Nation of Indians, which will contribute $25,965.39.
• St. Bonaventure University, which will contribute $48,230.15, including an additional of $3,874.64 for the operation of a second late night service bus on Friday and Saturday nights in January, February and March.
The city will be responsible for sponsoring the operation, as well as seeking and accepting grants from the state Department of Transportation for the program, said Keri Kerper, head of the city’s Department of Community Development.
“The city does not pay into it,” she said, with fares and grants covering the city’s costs.
The agencies all use the system for moving clients and would otherwise have to fund their own transportation systems.
The council also accepted a one-year extension of the operations contract with First Transit, which is the second renewal of a contract sought with a March 2016 request for proposals.The contract allows for up to three one-year extensions.
“They’ve done a tremendous job — they’ve done everything we’ve asked,” Kerper said, adding a 2017 audit of the transit system showed no deficiencies under First Transit’s stewardship.
IN OTHER BUSINESS, the aldermen noted a lack of compliance by some property owners with restrictions on blowing mowed grass into city streets.
“Thank you to the property owners who have maintained their grass and not blown it into the streets,” said Alderman Linda Witte, D-Ward 1. “When you blow it into the street, it gets into our sewer system, and we just paid a lot of money to fix the system.”
The city, over the next 30 years, will pay almost $1 million a year on debt service for the $23.25 million wastewater treatment plant overhaul, which was mandated by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. An additional $250,000 a year is required to be invested in sewer system line work.
Witte said mowing “one or two passes on the outside” with the grass outlet on a mower pointed away from the street should be enough to limit the amount blown into the street.