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County seeks federal dollars for Kendall Area Transit

Photo credit Eric Miller

The Kendall County Board voted unanimously Tuesday to apply for federal money to help offset the county’s expenses to operate the Kendall Area Transit program.

County Administrator Jeff Wilkins explained that the 5310 federal grant program is administered through the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA).

“These are mainly dollars to help the disabled and the elderly,” he said.

KAT is Kendall County’s public transit service.

According to a memo from Mike Neuenkirchen, KAT program director, officials are seeking $194,000 per year for fiscal years 2017 and 2018.

“The grant offers transit operators in the RTA region the ability to receive reimbursement for the costs involved in providing transportation for seniors and individuals who are disabled,” Neuenkirchen wrote. “Securing these dollars for Kendall Area Transit is crucial at this time. Additional federal funding through the RTA reduces KAT’s reliance on state of Illinois funding during this period of budget instability. Further, additional revenues from multiple sources allow the KAT program to expand services to those who are most in need in our county.”

Wilkins said the federal government has cut the local match percentages in half compared to previous years. The county will have to come up with 17.5 percent and the state will need to provide 32.5 percent of the grant total, which means the federal government will pick up half of the operating expenses, he said.

“it really does help the local taxpayer and allows us to leverage more operating dollars,” he said.

*Record Newspaper, written Tony Scott
Photo Credit, Eric Miller