EMTA Board Approves County's Withdrawal
The Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority board of directors has officially accepted the county's withdrawal from the transit authority. But the issue could be far from over.
The Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority board of directors has officially accepted the county's withdrawal from the transit authority.
But the issue could be far from over.
Following heated words between the county-appointed and city-appointed board members at the Intermodal Center, the board approved the withdrawal in a 5-2 vote.
The 14 month dispute reached a boiling point last week, when Erie County Council voted to withdraw from all involvement with the EMTA. The EMTA board vote is the next step that will allow the city to take over.
The county provides $360,000 a year for EMTA services. If the city takes over, city leaders will have to come up with that extra funding.
"At this point, it does not worry me,” said Erie City Councilman Jim Winarski. “They have some time to work things out. Yes, it's a lot of money, but they've been planning on this well before last week’s meeting as well as today's vote here."
Even though the board approved the county's withdrawal, Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper can actually veto their decision. It’s a move that would bring both sides back to square one.
“I certainly will be looking at a veto,” said Dahlkemper. “I believe having one out of the 38 municipalities run the transit authority, does not truly represent and do the best for all the citizens of Erie County.”
The two sides have until September 14 to reach a final deal.