(BEDFORD) - The Transit Authority of Stone City, Bedford's municipal bus system, is gaining in popularity.
Bob Bridge, of the Times Mail reports Tuesday night, during a meeting of the Bedford City Council, TASC Operations Supervisor Melanie Hacker reported rides were at an all-time high.
"It's been tremendous," she said. "Our numbers are up 11,588 since last year. We're probably at our max right now. We're going to have to adjust or add staff. But, that's a good problem to have."
The council approved Hacker's annual request to apply for the Indiana Department of Transportation grant that helps fund the program.
"This has been a good service for our community," said Council President Byron Buker. "We want to thank Melanie, her drivers and the people who maintain the buses."
Mayor Shawna Girgis also praised Hacker.
"Melanie does so much for us," she said. "She cares about her people, and she has done a wonderful job with this service."
The council also approved a request from Debbie Taylor to seek $250,000 for a housing rehabilitation program through a Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Taylor said Hoosier Uplands will pay for the local match.
"The maximum amount we can award to any homeowner is $20,000," she explained. "There is no match required by the homeowner, but they must fit within the income guidelines."
Girgis thanked Taylor for the gesture.
"The city has done projects like this in the past," she explained. "This is for homeowner-occupied rehabilitation. We've always made the match out of our funds, so I want to thank Hoosier Uplands for committing those dollars to do the project.
"We usually have a waiting list of people wanting to participate in this project. It is very beneficial to our residents."
Kyle Brown, the city's employee relations and community director, submitted an official roster of city employees for the purpose of complying with the new nepotism ordinance.
"As of July 1, we had 153 full-time, four part-time, and 57 seasonal employees," Brown noted. "These are the people who are grandfathered in. We also have charts listing departments."
Girgis and Brown told the council they decided to table for another month a vote on final passage of an ordinance redefining overtime pay. In May the council approved the first two passages of the ordinance by a 5-1 vote.
Brown has been consulting with a law firm in Indianapolis and said he plans to present information to council members very soon.
Girgis also presented a certificate of appreciation to the Rev. Bob Dailey, who is retiring after 16 years as senior pastor of Bedford's First Christian Church. Dailey and his wife, Leila, will be leaving the community at the end of July.
"We wish you a happy retirement in your new home," Girgis said, "but you will be sorely missed in this community."
Dailey served on the Plan Commission, the advisory board for Becky's Place and with the Marriage and Family Alliance.
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