The Dundee Township Park District has injected much needed funding into a paratransit program for the township's elderly and disabled. Park board members this week approved a $25,000 contribution to the Ride-in-Kane program, which helps people older than 63 and those with disabilities travel to jobs and medical appointments throughout the township.
"We have money on hand that is earmarked for people with disabilities," Park District Executive Director Tom Mammoser said. "This is an important program for some of our residents. We have the money available within our existing tax rate."
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The park district's contribution, along with the township's pledge of $35,000, with be matched by a federal transportation grant and a Pace per-ride stipend, Dundee Township Supervisor Sue Harney said.
The program, which serves 327 riders from Carpentersville, East Dundee, West Dundee and Sleepy Hollow, as well as portions of Algonquin, Barrington and Elgin, was in danger of further service cutbacks, Harney said.
"If we hadn't gotten this money we would have had to greatly reduce the level of service provided," Harney said. "For some people, this is the only option they have for getting to work, the doctor or local businesses."
In the past few years, Carpentersville, Sleepy Hollow and West Dundee have withdrawn funding, Harney said, which forced the township to put a freeze on accepting new riders so that existing riders could get the same level of service.
Harney said the township would like an additional $25,000 to $30,000 to reopen registration.