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PATS system to benefit from CARES Act funding

The Pike Area Transit System will be able to replaced its entire fleet of vehicles as well as reduce local administrative and operational costs, thanks to CARES Act funding.

Donte Frazier, director of the PATS program, said CARES Act grants will cover 100 percent of the operational and administrative costs of the public transportation system for the 2021 fiscal year. Normally, local participating authorities are responsible for 20 percent of the operational costs and 50 percent of administrative costs.

“We’ve been working with the ALDOT folks to figure out how to best use these grants and because of grant funding available now for the purchase of vehicles, we can get a 100 percent match on the second vehicle we purchase,” Frazier told the Troy Council members on Tuesday. “We only have to pay 20 percent of the cost for the first vehicle.”

Because of this opportunity, the council approved purchasing six new vehicles in the 2021 fiscal year, which replaces the entire fleet and reduces maintenance and repair costs. The expense for all six vehicles will be approximately $76,000, which is shared between the City of Troy, the City of Brundidge and the Pike County Commission.

“Basically, there is no administrative or operational cost for anyone in the county for the upcoming fiscal year,” said Mayor Jason Reeves. “With that $76,000 matching grant – which is less that what we normally pay to operate the program – we are going to be able to obtain six new vehicles for much less than we normally pay to run the program.”

In other business on Tuesday, the council:

• Passed resolutions confirming council members Greg Meeks, District 2; Marcus Paramore, District 3; and Wanda Moultry, District 5 as officers elected without opposition, since they are unopposed in the upcoming municipal election.

• Approved a retail liquor license for Trojan Mexican Grill

• Approved three-year phone, internet and networking services contracts with Troy Cable. The contract includes a new off-site redundancy network and server component with an initial setup cost of $3,390. After that, the total of all services will be approximately $9,940 per month.

• Declared surplus equipment for the Troy Fire Department and the Building Services department.

• Approved a new lease agreement with the U.S. Army for the control tower and operations center at the Municipal Airport. Terms of the lease remain the same, with the addition of a required fire inspection of the control tower. The Army will pay $2,215 per month for the one year lease, which is renewable for four more years.

• Declared an emergency situation at the Franklin Street well, allowing the utilities department to purchase replacement equipment for the well which was damaged when a water line began spewing chlorinated mist in the building. “Chlorine is very corrosive and all the electronics and metal equipment in the building were destroyed before we could get in there to replace it,” said Brian Chandler, utilities department manager. Repairs will be covered by insurance, and the council approved an award of $126,790 to Palmer Electric to provide equipment and repairs.

• Awarded a bid of $541,725.80 to Lewis Environmental Services for construction of an 8-foot wide, multi-use sidewalk along the south side of Elm Street, from Veterans Memorial Drive to George Wallace Drive. The project falls under TAPP funding with 80 percent of the costs covered by a grant. The city’s portion of the expense will be $108,345.10.