Voters approve Transportation millage renewal

The St. Joseph County Transportation Authority received strong support in its request for renewing one-third of a mill to continue operations at their current level.

The request was approved by nearly a 2-to-1 margin.

The Three Rivers-based agency was also successful in 2010, 2014 and 2018 in identical requests. They, too, were supported by roughly a 2-to-1 margin.

Agency director Allen Balog said he appreciates the county’s support of the agency. He said the comfortable margin in favor of the renewal confirms the value the CTA brings to St. Joseph County.

Balog, who was a member of the CTA board for 10 years before joining it as director in October 2020, said the millage generates about $730,000 for the agency that operates on a $2.5 million budget annually.

Without the millage-funded portion of its budget, the CTA would be severely crippled, limited in the depth of services it currently provides, Balog said.

The agency, which has a fleet of 28 vehicles, provided a total of nearly 82,000 rides in 2019. He said ridership is back to 75 percent of its pre-COVID figures.

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