Uintah County and Vernal City Discuss BTA’s Vernal Route

Uintah County and Vernal City officials discussed in detail the BTA Vernal route during a meeting on Monday afternoon. UBAOG Executive Director Laurie Brummond stated that the Vernal route is the “heart of the BTA system...it’s the one that is used the most.” She also said that a survey indicated that the biggest reason Duchesne County BTA users travel to Vernal for is shopping. While the route from Roosevelt to Uintah County remains under contract and will continue, Uintah County Commissioner Mike McKee explained that the Vernal route is in question due to a lack of funding and that there is a $90,000 need to fund the Vernal route. Commissioner McKee stated that Uintah County is willing to fund 50 percent of that amount but Vernal City would be required to make up the difference. Vernal City Councilman Ted Munford stated that, due to lack of funding, he feels there is no other option but to eliminate the Vernal route if they are to honor the voters wishes who did not support Prop 1 in the 2015 election that would have provided local transit funding. Commissioner McKee stated that the Vernal route falls outside the County’s jurisdiction and the City must be the one to fund the route but that the County will split the amount because of the benefit to County citizens. McKee also stated that if the Vernal route is eliminated, BTA will lose half of the UDOT matching funds of $180,000 dollars. Brummond stated that once that money is lost, it is gone for good. No decision was made during the meeting. Mayor Norton did ask that the public make private tax deductible donations to UBAOG specifically for the Vernal BTA route to keep the Vernal route operational. It was indicated that Vernal City and the Uintah Transportation Special Service District will review their budgets to see if there is a way the Vernal BTA route can be funded.

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Kristin Baldwin

Kristin never planned to work in news radio but has thoroughly enjoyed being part of the news team at KVEL. Her love of literature and writing developed in high school which led her to study English Literature and Technical Writing at BYU. She received her BA in English from BYU in 2005 and studied at UVU in Orem for 2 semesters to become a Certified Technical Writer in 2006. Two months after completion she began her dream job of being a stay-at-home mom.  As mother of 2 energetic kids, she began writing from home for the KVEL news team in 2011 and considers it the perfect fit as a full time mom and part time writer.