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Trumbull transit contracts to be rebid

WARREN — Trumbull County will have to rebid requests for proposals for countywide senior and disabled on-call transit.

The transit administrator and senior levy administrator told two commissioners Tuesday they were not given all of the requirements by the Ohio Department of Transportation in a timely manner.

According to a timeline Transit Administrator Mike Salamone created and presented to commissioners Denny Malloy and Mauro Cantalamessa, late last September the county was awarded a $556,950 grant from ODOT. In early October, the county began advertising requests for proposals and commissioners awarded the contracts in late November 2021.

Contracts were awarded to Garwin Inc. of Girard, Comfort Care-a-Van of Youngstown, All American USA Taxi Inc. of Warren and Country Neighbor Program Inc. of Orwell to provide on-demand service for Trumbull County residents using the Trumbull Countywide Senior and Disabled Transportation Service from Dec. 1 to Nov. 30, 2024, for a total of $1.66 million.

For the first year, $750,000 will come from the county’s senior levy, $150,000 will come from the Trumbull County Board of Developmental Disabilities, $200,000 will come from the commissioners from the county sales tax and $556,940 will come from a grant from ODOT. The local funding sources will remain the same for the second year, but the ODOT grant is a year-by-year grant.

Salamone said Tuesday that ODOT had several requirements attached to the funding that the county was not aware of until after the contracts were awarded. On Dec. 9, ODOT told Salamone he would have to re-bid the contracts with the proper language.

Last week, Salamone sent ODOT a draft request for proposal and ODOT then sent him another draft satisfying the state agency. Salamone said he, county assistant prosecutor Bill Danso and senior levy administrator Diane Siskowic-Jurkovic will now need to look over the new document. According to Salamone’s timeline, at the Feb. 1 commissioners meeting he would like the board to vote to terminate the existing contracts effective May 1.

Salamone said language in the contracts allows for termination for change of funding, to which this applies. He said the prosecutor reviewed this last week.

At the Feb. 8 or 15 commissioners meeting, Salamone wants the commissioners to vote to advertise the new requests for proposals. These contracts would begin May 1 to avoid a gap in service.

Before May 1, Salamone will have to write six policies that will need to be approved by commissioners and ODOT. He said some of these were in place when the county’s own transit board existed, but dissolved when the board did.

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