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
  • Marshie J. Chess Marshie J. Chess

    Marshie J. Chess, Fairview Township, passed away at 1:38 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, 2014, in Allegheny General Hospital after a period of failing health. He was 67.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arthur Eugene Swogger

    Arthur Eugene Swogger of Wood Street, Orangeville, died following a brief illness at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday (4-16-14) in Sharon Regional Health System, surrounded by family. He was 85.

    April 17, 2014

  • William John Thomas Jr. William John Thomas Jr.

    William John Thomas Jr., 2599 Shadow Drive, South Pymatuning Township, formerly of Tree Top Lane, Hermitage, passed away unexpectedly of natural causes Wednesday morning (4-16-14) in the emergency room of Sharon Regional Health System. He was 73.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Robert Andrew Carson Robert Andrew Carson

    Robert Andrew Carson of Sharon passed away unexpectedly in his home Tuesday (4-15-14). He was 84.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Donald E. Mook

    Donald E. Mook of Hermitage passed away peacefully at 11:50 p.m. on Monday, April 14, 2014, in his home after a brief illness. He was 61.

    April 16, 2014

  • Jim ‘The Janitor’ Vorous Jim ‘The Janitor’ Vorous

    Jim “The Janitor” Vorous of Meadville passed away Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at his residence. He was 60.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charles Lewis Wallace Charles Lewis Wallace

    Charles Lewis Wallace of McCoy Lane, New Castle, formerly of Pulaski, died at his home Tuesday evening, April 15, 2014. He was 84.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joseph R. Mirizio Jr. Joseph R. Mirizio Jr.

    Joseph R. Mirizio Jr., of 321 Frederick Dr., Farrell, passed from this life on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at 4:24 a.m. surrounded by his family at his home following an extended illness. He was 82.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gladys R. Coates

    Gladys R. Coates of Upper St. Clair passed away on Sunday, April 13, 2014. She was 83.

    April 16, 2014

  • John P. Aiken, Sr.

    John P. Aiken Sr. of Colorado Springs, Colo., formerly of 739 Federal Drive, Sharon, died peacefully in his sleep on April 14, 2014, at Emeritus at Colorado Springs after a lengthy illness. He was 87.

    April 15, 2014

  • Cindy Peterson Burzlaff Essert obit photo Cindy Peterson Burzlaff Essert

    Cindy Peterson Burzlaff Essert, of Colorado Springs, Colo., passed away unexpectedly of an apparent heart attack on April 11, 2014. She was 52.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fred Steve

    Fred Steve of Blueberry Lane, Pine Township (Grove City), formerly of Main Street, Volant, passed away at 2:30 p.m. April 11, 2014, in the hospital of Grove City Medical Center, Pine Township. He was 91.

    April 15, 2014

  • Jeanne I. (Muschick) Winger obit photo Jeanne I. (Muschick) Winger

    Jeanne I. (Muschick) Winger, a long-time resident of Sandy Lake, has departed to the Promised Land, for a life that is free from pain and tears, a life everlasting in God’s Great Domain, on Monday, April 14, 2014, in the Caring Place, Franklin, Pa., after a long seven-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 88.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Donald L. 'Goose' Talbert Donald L. 'Goose' Talbert

    Donald L. “Goose” Talbert, of 562 Sherman Ave., Sharon, departed this life on Friday, April 11, 2014, in his home surrounded by his children. He was 78.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • William ‘Billy’ C. Marks Jr. William ‘Billy’ C. Marks Jr.

    William “Billy” C. Marks Jr. of Hubbard passed away unexpectedly on Friday, April 11, 2014, at home. He was 48.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

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