NC: Commissioners Approve Grants for Bus Transit System

June 11--County transportation manager Steve Swaim presented a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program grant award during the board's regular meeting. The grant will allow the transportation system to purchase and install six bus shelters along the county's fixed-route bus line service. The federal grant covers 80 percent of the estimated $100,000 cost, and the county will provide a $20,000 match.

"We did an exhausting study and had preliminary engineering done on site preparations and the cost of instillation," Swaim said.

Swaim also said his department conducted a density study to determine the impact the shelters would have on bus riders. Of all of the bus stops in the county, Swaim said the six sites picked for the bus shelters have the highest number of riders.

The six bus stops slated for shelters are: Colonial Drive in Thomasville, main hub (across driveway from board of elections office off North Main Street), county health department on Greensboro Street, Davidson County Courthouse on West Center Street, Davidson County Agricultural Center on East Center Street and the Davidson County Community College/East Carolina University Third-Year Dental School off Interstate 85 Business Loop at DCCC Road.

Swaim also said the bus shelters will be constructed similar to an existing structure at DCCC. That shelter is a metal structure, constructed with heavy plastic panels and a pitched roof.

Swaim is considering contacting Bunce Buildings in Lexington to ask if company employees are capable of building bus shelters.

"Our whole purpose is to serve the residents of Davidson County, and we need to go above and beyond and provide shelter for our high-ridership sites," Swaim said.

The other CMAQ grant award Swaim presented to the board will provide operational support for the Lexington Circulator and the Lexington to Thomasville Connector Route. Similar to the grant for the bus shelters, the grant covers 80 percent ($144,000) of the estimated $180,000 cost, and the county will provide a $36,000 match. The vote was also unanimous.

In other related business, the board unanimously approved $155,000 for a new air conditioning chiller system for Thomasville City Schools and $205,000 for two science labs for Lexington City Schools. The money comes from a special appropriation of Category 1, capital outlay funds. Chairman Larry Potts made the motion.

No funding was allocated for Davidson County Schools because the board is waiting for the county's board of education to present a financial proposal for upgrades to Stoner-Thomas School, which serves students with profound physical and/or mental developmental disabilities.

David Exum can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 227, or at Follow David on Twitter: @LexDisptachExum

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