Johnson County supervisors approve letter for cities regarding SEATS contract

BY KRISTEN EAST | APRIL 17, 2013 5:00 AM

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Johnson County officials moved one step closer toward approving a SEATS contract on Tuesday.

The Board of Supervisors met Tuesday to sign a letter that outlines the county’s contributions for the next SEATS contract. The letter will be sent to Iowa City, North Liberty, and Coralville officials.

The letter outlines the county’s end of negotiating terms for the contract. The five-year contract caps Johnson County’s contributions for mandated para-transit services at $200,000 for fiscal 14, plus an annual increase of up to 3 percent.

The letter also states that individual municipalities will provide for maintenance requirements. Iowa City will provide one additional vehicle in fiscal 14.

County officials also hope to hold a joint meeting with each entity of the contract at the close of each fiscal year, and they hope to renegotiate the contract in July 2017, one year before the contract expires.

The current contract expires on June 30.

SEATS provides door-to-door rides to individuals with disabilities, senior citizens, and other people in need of assistance accessing medical clinics, grocery stores, and other destinations.

Supervisor Chairwoman Janelle Rettig said the cities of Iowa City, North Liberty, and Coralville will vote on the terms after receiving the letter. She said she’d be surprised if there were issues with the respective city councils approving the agreement.

“The points of contention here seem to be settled,” she said. “While this letter wasn’t formalized [Tuesday], all of the points of it have been discussed at a previous meeting."

In fiscal 2012, Johnson County provided $257,657 in funding from the general levy for para-transit services.

This comes after a public forum and panel on Monday, which was hosted by the Johnson County Task Force on Aging. Officials acknowledged during the panel that some aspects of the program may be cut due to tight budgets.

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