Last Monday, the Lenoir County commissioners held a public hearing on the proposed Community Transportation Program application.
When nobody showed up, the board made a decision.
The commissioners — with the exception of Chairman Reuben Davis, who was absent — voted unanimously to pass the proposal to submit the application to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The application will be sent no later than Nov. 15 for grants.
Lenoir County Commissioner J. Mac Daughety said there was an effort to get the word out to the citizens, but no one came to deliver an opinion on the application.
"As part of the protocol, we set up a hearing and advertised it," Daughety said. "When nobody showed, we decided to act."
The Community Transportation Program, which was created to enhance transportation in counties and to meet community needs, has a grant with approximately $676,784 in funds for the 2014-15 fiscal year.
If Lenoir County is able to receive the grant, about $262,423 will be for administrative funding, which will be used for four administrative employees and other expenditures by the administration. The funding covers 85 percent and requires a 15 percent local match.
Capital funding will cover approximately $414,361, which will be used to replace six vehicles and other equipment. DOT and the Public Transportation Division will fund 90 percent of the grant, with a 10 percent local match needed.
All funds from local matches will be secured through transit revenues.
"The transportation has to be self-sufficient," Commissioner Eric Rouse said. "The match will come from ticket sales, so there will be no taxes from the local level and, of course, the grant will be federal."
Commissioner Jackie Brown voted on the application because of what it could do for the county in the future.
"There could be more funds coming to Lenoir County from the DOT in the next three years," Brown said.
The next county commissioner meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 4.
Junious Smith III can be reached at 252-559-1077 and Junious.Smith@Kinston.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JuniousSmithIII.
Copyright 2013 - The Free Press, Kinston, N.C.