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BOONE — The AppalCART board met Monday, May 24, where they approved the transit organization’s proposed budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

The proposed budget worked with $4,858,291 in general fund revenues — most of which come from grants, governmental allocations or advertising space on buses — scheduled to be used for administration and operating expenditures. The general fund is $54 less than the 2020-21 budget.

Administration costs are scheduled to use $725,890 of the $4,858,291, with the largest portion of that slated as $243,542 for administrative staff wages. Expenditures for administrative costs is $9,011 more than the previous year, in large part due to a $11,566 increase in allotment for wages.

Of the $4,132,401 set to be used for operating expenditures, nearly half was proposed to go to non-administrative staff wages with $2,062,522 — a $154,459 decrease from the 2020-21 budget.

Also receiving a large portion of the expenditure budget is focused on the buses themselves. The budget has $632,270 allocated to fuels, $57,925 allocated to tires and tubes and $150,000 available for parts.

Adding to the total budget were the capital revenues and expenses, which featured more than $1 million to a single project. The board approved allocating $1,001,500 to the addition of an electric transit bus and a charging station, with the bus costing $883,000.

After assessing the budget, the board opened a public hearing on it in which no comments were submitted, before voting to approve it unanimously.

Also on the board’s agenda was the discussion of resuming the Night Owl service, AppalCART’s late service on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. According to Director Craig Hughes, the service was shuttered as part of the cost-cutting measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the board could bring the Night Owl service back if they thought it was right.

Ultimately, the board opted to table the discussion to their June meeting, feeling the service was not necessary in the immediate time, and still wanting to see how the waning pandemic progressed.

The next meeting of the AppalCART board will be Monday, June 28, at 3 p.m.

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