ROCK SPRINGS– The Rock Springs City Council unanimously approved to give additional funding to STAR Transit for the remainder of the 2017-18 fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2018, at Tuesday night’s meeting.
STAR Transit Director Judy Owens wrote a correspondence to Mayor Demshar asking for $9,655.36 of additional funding.
The city previously funded $28,965 to STAR. The total amount of funding from the city for the current fiscal year is now $38,620.36.
The majority of STAR Transit’s funding comes from the federal government, but STAR was $51,356 short in funding.
Funding from Green River and the County
STAR Transit also asked for additional funding from the city of Green River and Sweetwater County. Owens asked for $4,000 of additional funding from the city of Green River, and $11,799 from the county.
Green River previously provided $16,000 of funding, while the county previously provided $106,191. The total fiscal year funding from Green River and the county would be $20,000, and $117,990, respectively, if approved.
Four out of five county commissioners agreed to the additional funding, as long as both cities approve their increases in funding as well.
With the additional $25,545.36 of funding from the three entities, STAR still needs to come up with $25,901.64, which they say is manageable for them. They have cut employees hours to 35 hours per week, as well as sold advertisements for their buses, and sold a few buses.
STAR Benefits the Entire Community
Councilor Tim Savage expressed his support for STAR Transit by emphasizing the importance it has not only those who use STAR for transportation, but on the community as a whole.
“STAR is a transportation system of last resort. It’s for people who can’t drive, can’t find a ride, can’t afford a taxi, to go to the store, go see a doctor, go to physical therapy. Without STAR, the revenue of those merchants and medical providers would decrease,” Councilor Savage said.
He added that 82% of STAR rides start or end in Rock Springs, but the city only provides five percent of STAR’s funding, so he believes they have a pretty good deal.