Carbon County's Medical Assistance Transportation Program is taking a hit in funding next year.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, the board voted to ratify the fiscal year 2012-2013 Medical Assistance Transportation Program grant agreement. The tentative allocation is $1,726,600, which represents an 18 percent decrease. The funding comes from a mix of state and federal funds.

The MATP program, which is operated through Carbon County Community Transit and overseen by LANTA, is designed to help people with the access card by providing a free ride to medical appointments.

No formal announcements were made if any changes may occur due to the decreased funding, but officials said they will need to look into the matter.

According to an article published in the TIMES NEWS on July 27, from July 1, 2011 through March 31, 2012, over 31,000 rides to doctor appointments were given to the 515 Carbon County residents enrolled in the program.

In other matters, the board voted to adopt a resolution supporting a 325-acre lot owned by Blue Ridge Real Estate Company in Kidder Township being named as a KOEZ property. KOEZ properties provide new businesses a 10-year exemption from taxes.

County solicitor Daniel Miscavige explained prior to the vote that the township had been looking for an industrial parcel to develop.

Currently, no parcels that are KOEZ approved are available in the state; but it is anticipated that in October, state officials will be authorizing additional KOEZ zones.

"The township and Blue Ridge are asking the taxing bodies to adopt a resolution in support of the application," Miscavige said. "So far, the township and Weatherly School District have adopted the resolutions and now they're asking the commissioners to support the application for inclusion in the KOEZ program with the commonwealth."

He added that the township is hoping that if the attempt is successful, the KOEZ-zoned property; as well as the location, which is in close proximity to Interstate 80 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, will be incentives for businesses to locate to the area and create jobs in the county.