Augusta public bus company MobilityTransit cancels employee health insurance

Health benefits canceled for public transit employees

The troubled firm in charge of Augusta Public Transit canceled its employee health insurance last week.

Mobility Transit LLC canceled the policy with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia on Wednesday, Cheryl Monkhouse, spokeswoman for the insurance provider, said Monday.

Mobility General Man­ager Mike Rosson, former President and CEO Kevin Adams and new President and CEO Cullan Meathe could not be reached for comment.

It is the latest issue in Mobility’s brief tenure in Augusta since Augusta Commission voted last year to outsource management of the city bus service to the firm.

Most of its employees were former city bus system workers.

A scheduled Augusta public services committee meeting Monday at which Mobility was expected to get 90 days’ notice before termination of its contract was canceled because of lack of a quorum: Two members, Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles and Commissioner Matt Aitken, were absent.

Since the firm took over the bus system last year, riders have complimented improved driver attitudes and more timely stops, but commissioners and the city administrator have pointed out Mobility’s failure to pay several of its financial obligations, including employee trainees, on time.

Meathe, who did not appear during contract negotiations, has a history of judgments and liens against several of his Florida transportation companies, including a 2011 judgment for $881,675 and a $250,513 judgment against his Palm Beach Transportation Group, according to court records.

City Administrator Fred Russell said he met with Meathe earlier Monday “to discuss several contractual concerns” and was “assured that (Mobility) would take steps to address these items,” but the insurance issue did not come up.

Commissioner absences also prevented any committee action Monday on a new contract with Automatic Data Processing, which is seeking to replace the city’s existing human resources and payroll functions.

The city’s finance committee, which had a quorum Monday, did agree to seek “an accounting of funds” spent by community housing development organizations from 2005 and 2006 city grant awards.

The engineering services committee agreed to implement a raw water rate for golf courses that will level disparities between the water rates of each but might require additional infrastructure.

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