A pair of proposals Rutland Township Supervisor Margaret Sanders floated to keep bus service intact for its senior and disabled residents in Sun City died for a lack of a second Tuesday, which means the board did not vote on the issue.
As a result, Grafton Township, which had been driving the senior and disabled residents living in Rutland's portion of Sun City at no cost to Rutland since 2007, will pull the plug on service to Rutland after Nov. 30, Grafton Township Supervisor James Kearns said Tuesday night. The cut affects about 130 people.
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"No decision is a decision -- that was a decision not to do anything," Kearns said of the inaction. "So what that tells me is that the busing for Sun City and Rutland Township is out of the question. It's done."
Sanders made the proposals in an attempt to end the stalemate between the neighboring townships. One came from Kearns and involved Rutland paying Grafton $1,200 a month while Grafton raised fares for the Rutland riders from $1 to $4 each way. That would help Grafton collect the $24,000 it wants for extending the service to Rutland.
Grafton is having its own financial issues, which is why it asked Rutland to help pay for the service in August. The service that costs about $80,000 a year and 58 percent of the riders hail from Rutland.
Under a second proposal, Rutland would hire Ride in Kane, a program that partners with Pace Suburban Bus to dispatch vehicles to registered disabled and senior riders for trips within the county.
The proposals previously came up during Rutland's board meeting last month, but trustees deferred taking a vote to better research them.
Tuesday, Rutland Trustee John Payson said he wanted to see a study done outlining the exact costs associated with both programs. He said he also didn't understand why Grafton charged Rutland residents $1 for every ride when the true cost is $33.50 per ride.
"How long can you do that before you're broke?" Payson said.
Several residents, some speaking on behalf of their elderly parents, pleaded with the board to keep the service.
"Without the bus, I would be home bound," Kathy Maday said. "I depend on the bus wholeheartedly."
Others said Sun City should pay for the service or the board should be floating a referendum to create a special service tax area for the Rutland portion of Sun City. The money generated from that tax could pay for busing.
"Let the people that are affected pay for it," resident Bill Siers said.
Sanders asked the board to second both motions so the board could vote and everyone could move on. It didn't happen. Frustrated with the nondecision, the 20 or so residents who attended for that issue left and began making plans for how they'll get around.
"I don't know what I'm going to do," said rider Dianne Hansen, who uses a walker and doesn't drive. "I'm going to have to find a way to get across the street to Walmart."