Journal Express, Knoxville, IA


April 16, 2012

Changes coming to HIRTA in Marion County

Knoxville —  

The Heart of Iowa Regional Transportation Alliance (HIRTA) intends to change the way it distributes funds and operates its bus services in Marion County.

“We wanted you to know what is going on,” Bill Pepmeier, a member of the Red Rock Area Community Action Program (RRACP) Board told the Marion County Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning. 

The current contract between Marion County and HIRTA expires June 30. The HIRTA Board, comprised of one supervisor from each county HIRTA serves, is expected to make changes that would utilize funds contributed by the counties, currently used to pay the costs of buses, to be used for daily operating expenses. 

Operating costs could potentially increase for Marion County if changes are made. Supervisor Jim Kingery represents Marion County on this board. 

“HIRTA's going to be much more involved in local activities,” Kingery said. 

HIRTA is required to provide public transportation in Marion County, even if Marion County as an entity does not have a contract with HIRTA, as it currently does. Kingery or another supervisor would remain on the HIRTA board, if the contract is not renewed. HIRTA provides free rides for Marion County residents, age 60 and over, and rides starting at $3 each way for younger residents. HIRTA provides an average of 500 rides per week in Marion County. 

The proposed changes are not popular with retiring dispatcher Sue Walters.

“I'm not a proponent of HIRTA taking over as they'd like to,” Walters told the supervisors. 

As the representatives discussed the issue with the supervisors, it became apparent that HIRTA is seeking more influence in the county because of problems in other counties. Jasper County's transportation has gone broke on two occasions. Ottumwa Transit is facing legal issues. Marion County has not had these problems. 

The changes have not been finalized. They will be voted on at the next HIRTA meeting, scheduled for April 26 at 9 a.m., at the Des Moines International Airport. Supervisor Sam Nichols believes, even if Kingery loses in a vote by the entire board, that the record should reflect Marion County's opposition to changes in HIRTA's structure. 

“We need to give Jim direction that we are resistant to HIRTA taking over,” Nichols said. 

Text Only
  • Tom Hoefling.jpg Hoefling's gubernatorial campaign focused on grassroots

    Longtime political activist Tom Hoefling of Lohrville is hopeful that his grassroots campaign, nurtured with the conservatism of Iowans, will gow into a term as Iowa's next governor. 

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Van Wyk.jpg Van Wyk's Jasper County voter registration canceled

    Following a hearing Thursday afternoon, Jasper County Auditor Dennis Parrott has canceled the voter registration of former Republican House District 28 Candidate Jon Michael Van Wyk. 

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sinclair and Heartsill.jpg Legislators report to Knoxville

    The final Legislative Coffee of 2014 was held Friday afternoon in Knoxville, with Rep. Greg Heartsill and Sen. Amy Sinclair in attendance. 

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Heartsill mug Heartsill reports on oversight hearings

    Rep. Greg Heartsill, a member of the House Government Oversight Committee, has been hearing testimony from Mike Carroll of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services and former State employees who received confidential settlements. 

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Megan Suhr.jpg MC Democrats to hold Education Forum

    The Marion County Democrats will hold its latest educational forum on Wednesday, April 9, with a focus on educational issues. 

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Grassley and Pella folks.jpg Pella representatives meet with Grassley

    Representatives from the Pella area are on their annual trek to Washington, D.C., this week. Sen. Chuck Grassley recently shared what they discussed with him. 

    March 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • raceway concept drawing.jpg Raceway Rebate passes subcommittee

    The proposed $2 million sales tax rebate for Knoxville Raceway (HSB 678) has just been approved by a House Ways and Means Subcommittee.

    March 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • raceway concept drawing.jpg House Subcommittee Hearing on Raceway Monday

    A House Ways and Means subcommittee will hold a hearing regarding a proposed sales tax rebate, worth up to $2 million, for the Knoxville Raceway on Monday, March 24. 

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • courthouse.jpg Incumbents for Marion County offices file paperwork

    By the end of the day Friday, the incumbents for the four Marion County elected offices up in November will have filed their paperwork to seek reelection. 

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Loebsack and seniors.jpg Loebsack visits Knoxville Senior Center

    Rep. Dave Loebsack addressed Medicare, the Older Americans Act and other issues over lunch Thursday at the Knoxville Senior Center. 

    March 20, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Raw: Urinator Causes Portland to Flush Reservoir Hoax Bomb Raises Anxiety in Boston New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Ex-California City Leader Gets 12 Year Sentence Obama, Biden Announce $600M for Job Grants Miley Cyrus Still in Hospital, Cancels 2nd Show New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Boston Officials: No Bags at Marathon Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Which service of the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce do you believe is most beneficial for its membership?

Legislative lobbying
Promotional material publication
Educational programs for the community
     View Results