The recently formed Schuylkill Transportation System Authority held its organization meeting Monday afternoon at the courthouse in Pottsville and elected Edward Barket, of Pottsville, a former two-term county commissioner and a real estate broker, as its chairman. Jason Ghergel, Orwigsburg, a CAP auditor, was chosen treasurer and Jack Wabby, Pottsville, secretary.
The board will meet every fourth Wednesday of the month. Its goal is to turn the STS, a county operated bus transportation business, into a profitable business.
STS was formed by a Board of Schuylkill County Commissioneers in 1980 and had been operated by ReDCo, a private non-profit organization and the current board of commissioners, have turned it into a public operation. ReDCo was paid more than $300,000 annually to operate the bus system and the money will now be put into the operational end of the business.
Commissioner Chairperson Mantura Gallagher welcomed the nine member board and Assistant County Solicitor Edward Brennan explained the legal end of the operation. Mark Scarbinsky, county fiscal administrator, acted as secretary for the organization meeting. The operating budget is $3.6 million annually aided by federal and state grants. Currentlty there are 14 regular bus routes and 29 share a ride vehicles and eight school buses.
The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. in the courthouse in Pottsville.
The members are, Edward Barket, Pottsville; Jason Ghergel, Orwigsburg; Jack Wabby, Pottsville; Al Bindie, Shenandoah; Brian Canfield, Cass Township; James Thomas, Cass Township; H.J. Fenstermacher, Pottsville; Todd Selgrade, Girardville; and Nicholas Troutman, Gordon.