CASPER, Wyo. — The Casper City Council discussed communication from CATC during their Tuesday, May 14 work session.
CATC had previously said that they were projecting that they would face a budget shortfall by the end of fiscal year 2020. However, a memo from CATC Executive Director John Jones included in Council’s work packet explains that CATC uncovered an accounting error and no longer anticipates a deficit.
“During a recent accounting review, we discovered that the Quick Books software CATC uses was not correctly accounting for the local match being returned into the CATC operations budget nor did the MPO’s (Metropolitan Planning Organization) expense spreadsheet correctly account for these transactions,” Jones’ memo states.
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The local match refers to $313,000 provided to CATC by the City of Casper, which allows CATC to receive additional federal funding.
“However, I’ve got to tell you costs are going to go up,” Jones told the Council, pointing to things like the rising price of fuel and the need to carry out vehicle maintenance as the fleet ages.
He presented them with further information about how CATC is funded as Council prepares to establish a fiscal year 2020 budget.
“I think we’re going to need to look at transportation a little bit deeper,” Jones said, adding that community members he’s met have expressed a desire for more transportation services in Casper.
Material that Jones’ presented to the City Council is included in the work packet, and gives the following bullet points about how CATC is funded:
-The federal funding to the City of Casper through the MPO provides50% of the operating funding for the CATC / Bus system.
-FTA funding requires a local match. The local match needed is based on the amount of FTA funding the MPO identifies as available.
-The FTA funds provide a 50% match for operating expenses and an 80% match for vehicle maintenance and capital.
-Casper, Mills, Evansville, WYDOT, Bar Nunn, Natrona County, and service contracts are current sources of local match.
-Mills and Evansville pay the full cost of their service and contribute to the local match.
-The City of Casper’s local match portion comes from both One-Cent and General Fund allocations approved annually by the City Council.
-Fares are not considered eligible as a local match by the FTA. Fares are directly applied to operational expenses.