June 19, 2019 3:50 a.m.
The Douglas County Board of Commissioners has announced that county government has completed the process of transferring assets for the transit program to the new district.
A release from the Board said agreements have been officially signed between county officials and the new Douglas County Transportation District for the transfer of all operations, administration, ownership and management of transportation programs in the county. The new district will take over all aspects of the program beginning on July 1st.
Commissioner Tim Freeman said the Board “is happy this is finally happening, and have done everything we can to ensure a successful transition”. Freeman thanked the members of the transit board, Public Works staff, and Keith Cubic, Douglas County Special Projects Administrator, for their work in getting the project completed. Freeman said “it has been a very complicated process, but the idea is to make transit better for the citizens of Douglas County”. He said that having an entire board that can focus on this one issue, will accomplish that goal.
The release said the Board of Commissioners adopted the final order for the formation of the non-taxing Douglas County Transportation District in September of last year. Citizens elected the first members of the new transportation district board last November. A regular district election was held in May of this year, at which time some of the board members were re-elected. Initial terms were staggered according to the guidance of the Oregon Elections Division. Terms from now on will be for 4 years.
The release said the new district will provide a county-wide transportation program that utilizes a singular, dedicated entity to manage public transportation funding and public transportation enhancement decisions. The non-taxing district will be funded entirely with federal and state grants, according to the release.
Cheryl Cheas, Transportation Services Manager for UTrans, and Mike Baker, chair of the Douglas County Transportation District Board of Directors talked about transit on Inside Douglas County Monday on News Radio 1240 KQEN. That interview is a KQEN podcast at www.541radio.com.