The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

County Approves Transportation Funding

by Joy Swearingen, Quill correspondent

Over 10,000 rides were given by the Hancock County Public Transportation system, during the year ending June 30. Nathan Cobb, director of the service, gave a year end report to the Hancock County Board during their regular meeting Tuesday, August 20.

Those rides included 2,603 for senior citizens, 7,459 rides for clients to the Mental Health Center, and 575 rides for the general public.

Most of the trips were in Hancock County with 248 of them out of the county for non-emergency medical trips within two hours of the county.

To keep the system running, the board approved resolutions for the Illinois Downstate Operating Assistance Grant and the Federal 5311 Grant agreements.

These include a local match component that is met with contracts for rides with the Mental Health Center, Area Agency on Aging, Memorial Hospital and small fees by general public riders.

Other facts noted in the annual report included 252 days of operation, traveling 106,939 miles and 7,123 service hours.

The average trip was 10.05 miles and the average service cost per hour is $32.71. Cobb noted that this is low, since the cost per hour in McDonough County is $55 per hour, and in Champaign County is over $100.

The county board accepted the bid of $139,755 by Quincy Mack Sales and Service for a Mack truck and chassis with a Knapheide Equipment dump body and equipment for the county highway department.

The highway, road and bridge committee report noted that delays by IDOT in signing federal aid agreements has pushed back summer maintenance on some county roads.

The proposed overlay work on the West Point Road is deemed necessary and will be done this year, whether or not the agreements for state and federal money are signed.

The county could end up paying for all of this work with just local funds.

The board approved issuing a deed to Douglas and Lynette Jackson for a property in West Point for the successful bid of $753.82.

Write-off s for contractual adjustments for ambulance service by Medicare, Medicaid and insurance providers amounting to $79,340 were approved. An additional $24,577 in unpaid debt was sent to a collection agency and written off.

The board approved naming E.J. Pullins to a vacancy on the West Point Community Fire Protection District board. Kathy Sparrow spoke on behalf of Brian Knorr for the position. However, Knorr was present and withdrew his name from consideration. Roberta Bruenger, a former West Point FPD board member, defended decisions by the West Point FPD board that had been questioned including the sale of vehicles.