The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Obituaries

May 16, 2013

COG transportation budgets not going in same direction

MERCER COUNTY — Mercer County Regional Council of Governments approved a budget Wednesday for Mercer County Community Transit, but COG officials expect they’ll be back in September with revisions.

When it comes to transit’s sister organization, Shenango Valley Shuttle Service, COG is planning to expand service.

The transit budget is in flux because COG has a fare hike pending with PennDOT, ridership is down and the state legislature is working on a budget and a transportation funding plan.

The fare hike, if approved, would not only raise more money but would change the funding scheme for state reimbursements from being based on zones to one based on actual mileage, said COG Executive Director Thomas R. Tulip. It usually takes a year to get a handle on how such a change will affect COG’s revenues, he said.

Almost all of the transit rides are subsidized by the states through programs that serve the elderly, the disabled and people with medical issues. The fare hike would boost what some riders pay, but not by much, Tulip said.

Tulip said he expects the fare hike will be approved in time for the fiscal year’s beginning on July 1, but officials are not sure if PennDOT will grant the full 9-percent hike requested or a smaller increase.

The state cut funding for transportation under its senior and medical transportation programs last year, and transit’s ridership has taken a dip, by about 7,000 rides. COG expects to end this year with a $110,000 deficit because of those factors, more than the $76,000 that was budgeted this time last year.

“We have controlled our expenses but our revenues have dropped,” Tulip said.

Year-end expenses are expected to be $1,620,250 – $162,762 less than budgeted – while revenues are expected to come in at $1,509,000, $197,630 less than budgeted.

The COG board approved a balanced budget of $1,710,450 for 2013-14.

Shuttle’s finances are steady in the $1,044,310 budget approved Wednesday, which includes small assessment hikes to member communities and a bump in state revenues.

Shuttle will add a new route that runs to West Middlesex, downtown Sharon and the Shenango Valley Mall in Hermitage, picking up the Route 18 corridor and stopping in LindenPointe technical business park.

Two LindenPointe tenants, Butler County Community College and Sharon Regional Health System, supported serving LindenPointe because the route will improve access for students of BC3, Tulip said.

Tulip added that the connection to West Middlesex is more speculative, to gauge whether there will be support from the borough.

Tulip said he wants to give the route, which will make the loop faster than the existing routes that wind through Sharon, Sharpsville, Hermitage, Wheatland and Farrell, a full year to see if it will work out, although it could be cut sooner if no one rides.

The budget includes money to hire an additional driver and clerk for the new route.

Shuttle provides about 100,000 one-way rides a year.

West Middlesex officials will be asked to sponsor the route by paying a small annual assessment.

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Obituaries
  • Eleanor Eileen Kaufman Eleanor Eileen Kaufman

    Eleanor Eileen Kaufman of Shenango Presbyterian Senior Care, New Wilmington, formerly of South Market Street, New Wilmington, died Saturday evening (7-26-14) in the Shenango Senior Care. She was 93.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nancy L. Kitsch Nancy L. Kitsch

    Nancy L. Kitsch of West Middlesex, formerly of Farrell, passed away unexpectedly at 7:15 a.m. Saturday (7-26-14) in Jameson Hospital in New Castle. She was 76.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thomas P. McComb Thomas P. McComb

    Thomas P. McComb of Hermitage passed away at 10:25 p.m. Saturday (7-26-14) in the hospital of Sharon Regional Health System after a courageous and valiant battle with cancer. He was 66.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jack H. Blystone Jack H. Blystone

    Jack H. Blystone of Hermitage passed away at 10:42 p.m. Thursday (7-24-14) in Juniper Village at the Shenango Inn, Sharon. He was 86.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Myrtle Irene Knauff Myrtle Irene Knauff

    Myrtle Irene Knauff, formerly of Old Ash Road, Springfield Township, passed away after an extended illness at 6:45 a.m. Friday, July 25, 2014, in Orchard Manor, Pine Township, where she resided since 2005. She was 88.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Leona M. Peters Casacia obit photo Leona M. Peters Casacia

    Leona M. Peters Casacia of 745 Greenville Road, Coolspring Township, passed away at 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 23, 2014, in Avalon Springs, Coolspring Township. She was 87.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • William H. Spon obit photo William H. Spon

    A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Monday for William H. Spon, formerly of Emilie Lane, Hermitage. He passed away peacefully of natural causes Wednesday (7-23-14) in O’Brien Memorial Nursing Home, Masury, where he was a resident for the past year. He was 92.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • William T. ‘Tom’ Johnson Sr. obit photo William T. ‘Tom’ Johnson Sr.

    William T. “Tom” Johnson Sr. of Jefferson Township passed away at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 22, 2014, in the emergency room of UPMC Horizon, Farrell. He was 74.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Janet E. Patton

    A memorial service will be held Saturday for Janet E. Patton of Mercer, formerly of Charlotte Avenue, Hermitage. She passed away at 5:25 p.m. Saturday, July 19, 2014, in Countryside Convalescent Home, Coolspring Township, after an extended illness. She was 96.

    July 23, 2014

  • Wilma ‘Bunny’ Christman obit photo Wilma ‘Bunny’ Christman

    Wilma Christman, affectionately known as Bunny, of Hermitage passed away early Monday morning, July 21, 2014, in her residence. She was 93.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charles E. ‘Chuck’ Henderson Charles E. ‘Chuck’ Henderson

    Charles E. “Chuck” Henderson of New Vernon Township (Stoneboro), passed away of natural causes at 2:35 p.m. Sunday, July 20, 2014, in UPMC Passavant, Pittsburgh. He was 88.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Harold E. ‘Bud’ Hall Harold E. ‘Bud’ Hall

    BUTLER – Harold E. “Bud” Hall of Big Bend Road, Emlenton, went to be with the Lord at 6:13 p.m. Sunday, July 20, 2014, while in hospice care at Butler Veterans Affairs Community Living Center. He was 90.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Christiane U. Giardina Christiane U. Giardina

    Christiane U. Giardina of Sharon went to her eternal home Saturday (7-19-14) to be with both her beloved Giardina and Stiege families who had gone before her. She passed away peacefully at 8 a.m. with her family at her side. She was 77.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Paul J. Radkowski

    Paul J. Radkowski of Pulaski passed away at 5 a.m. Sunday, July 20, 2014, in the hospital of Sharon Regional Health System after a brief illness. He was 84.

    July 21, 2014

  • William M. Brady William M. Brady

    A memorial service will be held Thursday for William M. Brady of District Road, Delaware Township (Fredonia). He passed away Sunday (7-20-14) in Family Hospice and Palliative Care at Canterbury Place, Pittsburgh, after a brief battle with cancer. He was 54.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

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