By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer
BATAVIA - Clermont County residents will get a chance to offer their thoughts on Metro bus routes.
A public hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 26 at 6 p.m., in the chambers of the Clermont County commissioners, 101 E. Main St., Batavia. County commissioners approved the meeting time Tuesday.
Population shifts registered in the 2000 Census prompted a change in Metro's service area and funding. As a result, Clermont County is now included in Metro's "urban" zone. It is now eligible for federal transit funds that were previously split only between Metro and TANK, Northern Kentucky's bus service.
Clermont and Metro have agreed on Metro route service for fiscal year 2003, which ends Sept. 30, and are in negotiations for service for fiscal year 2004, which starts Oct. 1, said Melissa O'Farrell, mobility coordinator for Clermont Transportation Connection.
"The public hearing is for the contract we just entered into with Metro, for federal fiscal year 2003," O'Farrell said Tuesday. "We are just now getting ready to apply for those monies. There was so much work that had to be done to get us to this point."
Metro provides express service from and to areas in Amelia, Eastgate/Union Township, Pierce Township, Loveland and Milford.
O'Farrell told commissioners that under the county's agreement with Metro $303,000 will be turned over to Metro for funding of the existing express routes. Another $165,000 will be carried over for operating expenses in federal fiscal year 2004.
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