By Forrest Hershberger
Publisher Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

CARES Funds City Bus


September 16, 2020

The Sidney City Council recently it can receive a new public transportation bus through the CARES Act.

"As part of the CARES Act, we're eligible to apply for a bus," said Sidney City Manager David Scott.

The bus, a 12-passenger, with a handi-cap lift, is valued at $75,000. The bus has to replace a unit from the City's fleet that is at least 10 years old and has $100,000 miles.

The grant covers the full cost of the bus. The City frequently purchases buses through a federal program at an 80-20 cost share with the City responsible for 20 percent of the cost.

The council also discussed changing the public transportation system, eliminating the fixed routes in exchange for the dial-a-ride program.

Public Transportation Director Dave Doty said the city has been operating on a dial-a-ride only service since March. The fixed route program was first proposed by the Cheyenne County Visitors Committee, according to Doty.

The Dial-A-Ride program operates 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Economic Development Director Melissa Norgard met with the city council Sept. 8 to update the council on the Elks Lodge CDBG Tourism Development Project and for a Request for Qualifications for Architectural Design and Engineering Services.

The City was awarded a $415,000 grant to revitalize, restore and renovate the Elks Lodge. The timeline is for the Request For Qualifications to be received by October 12, reviewed by a selection committee beginning Oct. 13 and Selection and Award by October 27. The architecture and design phase is expected to cost about $62,000.

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“This is going to be the beginning stages,” Norgard said. “There's going to be a lot of things the money can't cover. It just won't go that far.”

She said the Elks Lodge is working to increase membership, and more events.

“They can look at grants because they are on the National Historic Registry,” she said.

The council also discussed modifying the City's fee schedule to include residential lawn waste. Under the proposal, residents to add an additional receptacle dedicated to lawn clippings for an additional $10 per month for each residential unit, plus $6 per month pick-up fee. Corporate customers could request the service for $25 per month for each commercial unit sharing a container with another business. Any commercial unit with an individual 95-gallon container with weekly pickup will be billed $14 per month. The service would be available April 1 through October 31.

Scott stressed the City is not increasing rates, just adding a new service.

The council also approved the total proposed tax rate of .332009, or $1,364,335 for general purposes, and .254362 or $1,063,862 for bonded indebtedness. The Council also approved increasing the tax levy lid by 1 percent. City Manager Scott reported it is a procedure the City has done “over the years.”


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