Flint Hills transit entity remains on hold

By Bryan Richardson

The Flint Hills Regional Transit Administration (RTA) is still on hold, according to comments at the Flint Hills Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) meeting Wednesday.

Gary Stith, deputy director of the Flint Hills Regional Council, said attorneys for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Kansas Department of Transportation requested further changes to the interlocal agreement, which would be signed by Riley, Pottawatomie and Geary counties, Manhattan, Junction City and Kansas State University.

“Attorneys just have to make changes to things,” he said. “None of (the changes) really have any significance in terms of how things will function.”

The Kansas attorney general’s office previously requested changes to the agreement. The RTA isn’t official until the office approves it.

After an unofficial March meeting for the RTA, officials planned on having the first meeting immediately after Wednesday’s Flint Hills MPO meeting.

Stith said the first Flint Hills RTA meeting will now likely happen in June. As an urbanized area of more than 50,000 people, the region is eligible for FTA money for transit projects. According to information from the March meeting, the region has $900,000 from this year still waiting to be used and $919,000 coming for the upcoming year with each pool of money expiring after three years.

The MPO board also received the estimated local match funding they will have to provide for the remainder of this year and all of 2015. Manhattan owes $21,711.23 and Riley County owes $2,428.47 for the rest of 2014.

The maximum Manhattan would owe in 2015 is $107,267.54, and the maximum for Riley County is $11,998.21.

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