County Withholds Local Allocation to ATA

CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Commissioners still have concerns about the finances and operations of the Area Transportation Authority (ATA) and will withhold its local allocation of $118,670 for the upcoming-year.

On Nov. 26, the commissioners voted, 2-1, to table paying its local allocation to the ATA. Commissioners Joan Robinson-McMillen, chair, and John A. Sobel voted in favor of tabling the matter until its next regular meeting. Commissioner Mark B. McCracken opposed doing so.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Robinson-McMillen presented a new resolution, which stated the county would support the ATA with its local allocation. She said the county’s allocation was included in the upcoming-year’s budget; however, it was not allocated to a specific transportation authority.

Robinson-McMillen indicated that prior to the commissioner’s meeting she had reviewed ATA’s bylaws and financial responsibilities. If they chose to withhold their local allocation to the ATA, she said it would not affect the transportation in Clearfield County for at least three years. Robinson-McMillen noted that the ATA had much reserved because of Act 44 funding paid in.

According to her, the county’s situation with the ATA remains a “work in progress.” She said the commissioners have been expressing concerns to the ATA and trying to determine if they can remedy the situation or must look for an alternative transportation provider.

Robinson-McMillen then asked if there was a motion to approve the new resolution to pay the county’s local allocation to the ATA. McCracken subsequently made a motion, which died due to a lack of second.

When asked after the meeting, Robinson-McMillen said the county had concerns over the ATA’s lack of transparency so far as its finances and operations. The ATA, she said, needs to be more accountable to the public and to hold “more discussions and be less protocol.”

Sobel said it has been “like pulling teeth” to get information from the ATA. Robinson-McMillen added that when you’re funding an entity, such as the ATA, you shouldn’t have to submit Right to Know requests to obtain information.

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