I became involved with RTA in 1988 when the Allen County Board of Developmental Disabilities contracted with RTA to provide one route to Marimor Industries. I remember talking with a man the first morning he rode the RTA bus. He said, “I ain’t ever going to ride that “expletive” school bus again.” Why was that so important to him? It was about dignity. Can you imagine being a grown man having to ride a yellow school bus to work? It was a game changer for this man and many others. Through the years, five additional routes were added. This was a cost savings for the tax payers because RTA charged the DD Board half of what it cost them to run the route. Why? Because our local dollars were matched dollar for dollar with State and Federal dollars.
This same concept is being used by five local schools to provide just under 1,500 trips per month for children with special needs.
The biggest funding challenge the RTA has is securing local funding. All Federal funding and some State funding must be matched dollar for dollar with local funding. The income from this tax levy can be used to draw down addition State and Federal funding.
Please join me in voting yes on May 7 for the RTA levy. It will only cost me 2 Cents on every $20 that I spend. The levy is “right sized.” Because of State law in 2017, the smallest tax the RTA could ask for was .25%. That was more than they needed. The law changed, so RTA is now able to ask for only the amount they actually need.
Esther Baldridge Retired Superintendent Allen County Board of OD