County RFTA votestill a maybefor fall election
After a long discussion at the Garfield County Commission meeting Monday, it’s still undecided whether the public will vote on funding for the RFTA bus service.Supporters want to see propositions for RFTA funding on the November ballot.Commissioners are waiting to decide whether RFTA will go to voters. They want more information about its funding before deciding exactly how the ballot will be worded.Commissioners talked about proposing a transportation tax to cover the RFTA fee.They also discussed having voters decide on a 0.4 percent increase in sales tax and a $10 yearly fee for every vehicle registered in Garfield County.”I’m happy they didn’t turn it down,” said Julie Olson, executive director of Advocate Safehouse Project. “I understand they need more information, but I hope they allow us to make the decision.” The $10 fee for registered vehicles would pay for highway-related costs such as bus stops and bus lanes, said Dan Blankenship, CEO of RFTA.”Mass transit is a feel-good thing but needs economics too,” said Phil Vaughan of Rifle.Vaughan said more details need to be given to voters on the actual cost of incorporating RFTA into Garfield County. Increasing sales tax and putting a $10 fee on all registered vehicles doesn’t make sense to people who won’t use the service, Vaughan said.Commissioners want a provision stating all funding from Garfield County will pay for maintaining service on Highway 82 and the Interstate 70 corridor.No other county, including Pitkin County, has a provision that requires county funding for RFTA to remain in that county, said Blankenship said.Without the provision, commissioners will not put the RFTA initiative on the ballot. Contact Ivy Vogel: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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