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Transit expansion likely to headline Tuesday Augusta commission meeting

Sunday, April 14, 2013 4:43 PM
Last updated 10:41 PM
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Expansion of Augusta’s bus service south and west will likely take center stage again at Tuesday’s meeting of the Augusta commission.

Signed up to speak in favor of expanding and improving the service are Christopher Johnson, head of the new Augusta Interfaith Coalition and south Augusta resident Charles Cummings.

The topic has seen multiple speakers in favor at several prior commission meetings, but any expansion appears to be in preliminary stages, limited in part by the lack of money.

The commission has, however, at prior meetings authorized city staff to examine the creation of an advisory panel to oversee transit, and approved a construction agreement for the city’s new bus barn in south Augusta on Mike Padgett Highway, to replace the existing transit headquarters downtown – which the city has agreed to sell.

Most recently, the commission extended the termination date for Mobility Transit, a private firm the city hired to run the bus service in 2011. The city gave Mobility notice in February it was terminating the contract.

Also Tuesday, Commissioner Marion Williams has requested further inquiry into why Augusta has to repay the Federal Transit Administration $80,000 in FTA funds misspent on bus engines. City officials have previously said the purchase was mistakenly characterized as a “sole source,” exempt from competitive bidding and FTA demanded the funds be repaid.

Live updates

Staff Writer Susan McCord will post updates from the 5 p.m. Tuesday commission meeting on Twitter. Follow McCord @reportr1

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Little Lamb
Little Lamb 04/15/13 - 08:01 am

From the story:

City officials have previously said the purchase was mistakenly characterized as a “sole source,” exempt from competitive bidding and FTA demanded the funds be repaid.

There is no good reason for Procurement Director Geri Sams to bypass competitive bidding time and time again. Competitive bidding is good for the taxpayer. The bid package needs to be written carefully, with honest, clear specifications; and without all the gobbledegook that Sams throws in making it difficult for anyone to comply and difficult for anyone to follow Sams’ logic in awarding the contract.

Fiat_Lux 04/15/13 - 12:49 pm
Don't hold your breath.

Clarity and straightforward operation is the antithesis of anything related to government, no matter the level.

Geri Sams does strange, inexplicable things all the time, and Procurement didn't fare well in the Special Grand Jury investigation a little more than a decade ago.

Not as bad as the Fire Dept, but still, nothing to make us happy about how our money is being spent.

Same kind of people handling the till here as in Washington.

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