By jeanne starmack
The city is applying for a grant for a new minibus for senior citizens, but the president of city council says he doesn’t agree with spending the money for one.
City Finance Director Mike Evanson said he filed a letter of interest with the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments for a grant that would pay for 80 percent of the cost of the bus, which is not yet known.
The city would pay 20 percent.
He said there is a meeting scheduled Jan. 2, where he’ll get the grant application.
The city’s old bus dates to 1988, said Mayor Bill VanSuch, and it isn’t going to last much longer.
The city learned this fall that its funding to run the minibus, $11,500 from the Area Agency on Aging, was being cut.
Council president George Levendis argued at a council meeting last week that there isn’t a great need for the bus, and there is no way to fund it.
“It cannot fund itself,” he said.
“I believe it’s irresponsible spending,” he added. “They cut the funding for the bus, and the money is not there. Common sense needs to prevail. I believe it’s reckless spending.”
VanSuch said Monday that the other four council members indicated they were in favor of applying for the grant.
He said that Friday, nine people used the bus to do their Christmas shopping.