Funds for Axed SMART Garage May be Used to Expand Service Hours
SMART officials have met with Macomb Township leaders to discuss how to utilize money originally set aside to build a shelter for the township's Dial-A-Ride buses.
Officials from the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) have met with Macomb Township to discuss the possibility of expanding service hours in town, SMART spokesperson Beth Gibbons said.
The talks are in light of the Aug. 22 Board of Trustees’ decision against construction of a 6,000-square-foot pole barn to house the township’s three Dial-A-Ride buses, which are used to transport the township's seniors and disabled. SMART and the federal government would have funded the project at a cost of about $750,000.
Township Supervisor Mark Grabow, the lone proponent of the pole barn project, criticized the board’s decision not to build the structure and even stated that the unused funds would be used for SMART executives instead of by the township.
“Now the interesting part is that those funds will not go to another community,” Grabow said Aug. 22. “They will go to wages and benefits for the SMART executives. So I’m glad we’ve all donated our tax dollars back to their benefits package.”
Gibbons said that Grabow’s statements are incorrect and added that funds have never been left unused in other communities. SMART will continue to work with the township to determine how to use the money, she added.
If the township does decide to use these funds to expand service, Gibbons said this would mean allowing residents a greater number of hours within a day to reserve a bus for transportation.