BY KARISSA MILLER
ICATS will reduce services beginning March 1, 2020, when grant funds are depleted.
Bradley Johnson, director of ICATS, discussed the need to cut back services with the Iredell County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday because the federal grant that subsidizes some of the public transit’s fixed route services is expiring.
Beginning in March, the Mooresville Main and Community Connection routes will be pared from five days of service to four days. The Iredell Express will reduce its overall miles by more than 18,000 miles.
Johnson said his department is working to minimize the impact of the cuts on those who rely on ICATS to get to and from work.
“We’re not leaving these people out to dry,” he said. “We’ve reached out to their employers and are hoping their employer sees them as a valuable employee and they will be able to cover their cost to and from work.”
In other business:
♦ The board heard a presentation from I-CARE Inc. Executive Director Bryan Duncan regarding the nonprofit’s anti-poverty plan, which is funded by a Community Services Block Grant.
I-CARE is a non-profit Community Action Agency that works to expand access to jobs, housing, education and childcare for vulnerable families. The focus of the grant areas includes addressing educational needs, unemployment, underemployment, lack of knowledge of resources and lack of transportation.
I-CARE program has provided valuable services to many local residents since its inception over 54 years ago.
Participant Shanika Turner shared her experiences with the entrepreneurship program.
Rafael Tomlin, another participant, shared his success finding steady employment. He now builds doors in Statesville. Tomlin said that his previous jobs were temporary positions and that his new employers are like family.
He described the program as living up to its name and described their efforts as “genuine” in helping him get his life back on track.
♦ The board approved a request from EMS to use contingency funds in the amount of $67,310 to begin a Community Paramedicine Program in January 2020.
The funds will allow EMS to hire two community paramedics for six months.
According to EMS Director Blair Richey, by implementing this program, there is opportunity to decrease the usage of EMS personnel and other first responders for high utilizers of the EMS system. This will allow for a more appropriate response to citizen’s needs.
♦ Commissioners elected James Mallory as chairman and Tommy Bowles as vice chairman for 2020.
Commissioner Gene Houpe made the motion to re-elect the current chair and vice chair. Their was unanimous support.
Commissioner Marvin Norman was absent from the meeting due to illness; however, Houpe said he spoke to Norman before the meeting and he also in favor of keeping the same officers.