Floyd County Judge-Executive Robbie Williams reports that the county is planning to start a community transit system.
During a special meeting last month, the fiscal court approved a resolution announcing Williams' desire to start a transportation division for the fiscal court in conjunction with the Floyd County Senior Citizens program.
With that resolution, the fiscal court approved hiring Amy Tackett, the daughter of Magistrate Mike Tackett, as transportation director at $13 per hour with benefits. Tackett abstained from the vote.
Williams explained in that meeting and a subsequent interview that the county is currently paying Sandy Valley Transportation to transport senior citizens and is also paying courts to transport defendants as well.
This new program, he said, will not cost the county any more money than it is already spending for those transportation services. He said it will be operated free of charge to all participants and it will be open to the public.
He said this "county-wide network," when operational, will utilize senior citizens centers as drop-off and pick-up locations.
For example, once a week, a bus will pick up residents from the Wheelwright Senior Citizens Center and public housing complexes in that area and take them to shopping centers, doctors offices and other locations, Williams explained, and the bus will pick up residents from another area of the county the following day.
The schedule will be finalized and announced at a later date, Williams said.
He said he hopes to obtain grant funding in the future for this project, reporting that transportation is one of the top problems facing residents in rural areas of the county. Transportation was identified as a hindrance to substance abuse treatment during a meeting Williams' office hosted last year with local prosecutors, judges and officials with the University of Kentucky.
Williams explained that the need for grant funding is why the program will be implemented through the senior citizens program.
Officials reported that the fiscal court bought a used van from Sandy Valley Transportation several months ago in preparation to launch this program.
More information about it will be released at a later date.