Transit bus fund request sparks debate A request at Monday's Vermillion City Council meeting for funding that would allow a third transit bus like the one above to operate in the city was the topic of lengthy discussion. by David Lias Mike Slattery, executive director of the South East South Dakota Activities Center (SESDAC) found himself in anything but a routine situation Monday night.
Slattery appeared before the city council to make a budget request for South East Transit, which operates three buses in the city. SESDAC is the sponsoring agency for the bus service.
He asked the city to provide $10,000 to the transit service � the same funding amount provided by the city to South East Transit as last year � so it could continue to operate three buses in Vermillion.
Soon after making the funding request, city aldermen put him on the defensive. He was asked if the bus service could be operated more efficiently on a set schedule rather than its call and demand system.
Alderman Gary Wright also claimed that Slattery told the council last year he would not be back seeking $10,000 at budget time this year.
Slattery apologized to Wright for any misunderstanding.
Slattery requested and was granted $5,000 by the city following budget time a year ago. Last spring, he appeared before the council once more to ask for an additional $5,000 so that South East Transit could purchase a third bus.
SESDAC secured an additional $10,000 from the state Department of Transportation and contributed $5,000 of its own money to purchase the third bus.
"It's been an extremely sound success," Slattery said. The city council made no decisions on Slattery's requests, or the requests made by several other city agencies Monday. Alderman Jere Chapman went on record, however, in support of funding for the bus service.