Town holds firm on trolley payment

 

Town holds firm on trolley payment

 

Date: July 17, 2013
by: Kurt Schultheis | Managing Editor

 
 

 

The correspondence duel between the town of Longboat Key and Manatee County continues.

Manatee County is attempting to collect $84,000 from the town to fund the island’s trolley route.

Manatee County officials sent a June 12 letter in an attempt to collect the money for two separate fiscal years.

Wrote Director of Public Works Ron Schulhofer in a June 12 letter to Town Manager Dave Bullock: “On May 7, you and Mayor Jim Brown made a presentation to the Board of Manatee County Commissioners detailing the desire to not have the town subsidize the Longboat Key trolley service. This is contrary to the town agreeing in two separate work sessions to provide an annual subsidy of $42,000 to help fund operations of the trolley.”

Town Manager Dave Bullock responded to Schulhofer in a July 8 letter, stating that both he and Mayor Jim Brown were surprised that staff is continuing to demand payment from the town, after the Manatee County Commission asked for a discussion item on the issue.

“Your claim that somehow Longboat Key made a multiyear funding commitment to Manatee County is not supported by evidence in county records,” Bullock wrote.

Although the town paid the county $42,000 in fiscal year 2010-11, Bullock said he’s reviewed all of the meeting minutes between the county and the town and can’t find an agreement that mandates the town continue to pay that amount for future years.

“If you have a copy of any agreement that the town executed beyond that one year, please forward,” Bullock wrote. “Otherwise, the town will wait for an opportunity to discuss this issue with the Manatee County Commission.”

Schulhofer requests a $42,000 payment for fiscal years 2011-12 and 2012-13.

Schulhofer, who sent a similar letter requesting funds Jan. 11, shouldn’t expect any checks from the town.

In a presentation to the Manatee County Commission May 7, Bullock explained that Longboat Key taxpayers have paid more than $6 million in transportation services to the county in the last 10 years.

Bullock has ordered his finance staff not to pay the $84,000 trolley-funding request.

Contact Kurt Schultheis at kschultheis@yourobserver.com.

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