Budget for Carson transit may go up
March 15, 2013
The city general fund portion of the transit budget may need to increase 30 percent for next fiscal year, according to Transportation Manager Patrick Pittenger.
"We are facing a severe financial impact," Pittenger told the Regional Transportation Commission in a Wednesday meeting. Earlier in the meeting Sheila Lambert of the state's Division of Health Care Financing and Policy had appeared on issues of Medicaid patient transport affecting the city's budget to which Pittenger referred.
Pittenger didn't direct his remarks at the state Health and Human Services division's representatives at the meeting. But afterward he said his request from city government General Fund sources for his transit budget would go up in part because of the states action. He said the city has no choice but to pick up the costs, which means he will have to seek $350,000 from the General Fund for Fiscal Year 2013-14 rather than the $270,000 he got in the current fiscal year.
In addition, Pittenger said, he likely will have to use an additional $130,000 for transit next fiscal year and drain his cushion. "We have few options," he said.
Lambert, in her earlier appearance, had acknowledged an initial lack of understanding between the state and city regarding the issue. She indicated that after a state plan is finished she anticipates more clarity. The RTC's vice-chairperson, meanwhile, voiced appreciation for her appearance and an earlier session they about the issue, but also took note of the rocky start between the division and city last year.
"We got off to bad start," said the RTC's Jim Mallery, "and hopefully that's behind us." He said the RTC and city have budgets and characterized the pass down to Carson City as a type of "unfunded mandate." He said he hoped the matter could eventually be turned into a "win-win situation."