Thrive eyes transportation needs

By BOB JOHNSON
Register City Editor

Allen County commissioners Tuesday approved a grant application for money to assess transportation needs in the county.
David Toland, Thrive Allen County executive director, said $8,000 would be sought from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City to determine need and a solution.
Toland noted that many people, particularly those living in outlying small towns, often had difficulty finding transportation to doctor appointments and meeting other obligations. He agreed with County Clerk Sherrie Riebel’s observation that some transportation was available, but not as comprehensive as it might be.
He said that ferrying people about the county for appointments would lead to secondary destinations for shopping.
Toland agreed that regionalization of public transportation made sense, but proposed that approach probably was several years away.
If the grant is approved, all assessment will be done through Thrive and a consultant, who Toland said recently had moved to the area.
“It won’t cost you anything and you won’t have to do any work,” he told commissioners.

COMMISSIONERS put off purchase of a dormitory and office building at Allen County Airport owned by Star-Bright Aviation.
The company, in business since last year, is in a financial strait. Bruce Bright told commissioners the company didn’t want to liquidate, rather wanted debt relief. The company’s outlay for the two buildings is $155,977.64.
Bill King, director of Public Works, said he thought the company was committed to Allen County and that he would “hate to see them not there. They give us a 24/7 presence at the airport.”
Star-Bright is a flight school. Some of those in training stay in the dormitory, which can accommodate up to eight.
Commissioners said they were in no hurry to take ownership of the Star-Bright buildings, particularly not until they had had time to review its business plan.

THE COURTHOUSE lawn will be filled with Allen County Community College students Oct. 1.
Jana Taylor, Iola Area Chamber of Commerce director, told commissioners the students would participate in a scavenger hunt that would involve downtown merchants. The event will better acquaint Iolans with the students, she said.
The courthouse lawn will be a gathering place and scene of a meal for the students.
Commissioners approved purchase of a rock drill for the county quarry. White Star had the lower of two bids at $3,095.63.
They also accepted the bid of Larry Barnett, Humboldt, to replace soffit and a door at the LaHarpe Senior Center. Barnett’s bid of $2,050.46 was the lower of two.