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Karen Jaroch

Facing budget shortfall, HART board to consider millage rate increase, first since 2012

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With a budget deficit in the millions looming, the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) face a hard choice. On Monday, HART board members said they intend to hold a meeting sometime this summer to discuss raising the millage rate for the first time since 2012. Cyndy Zambella, HART’s budget and grants manager, told HART board members Monday that the current budget deficit stands at $6.2 million going into the fiscal 2018 year, which begins in October. However, Joel Ray, director…

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Hillsborough County Commission approve $811 million to fund roads, $1 million for transit

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Hillsborough County Commissioners approved a proposal Wednesday to spend $812 million on transportation over the next decade, with almost all of that money going directly for roads, rejecting a last-minute alternative offered by Commissioner Pat Kemp to redirect much of those funds to more transit projects. The 6-1 vote (with Kemp dissenting) came after more than 40 members of the public signed up to speak about the proposal, with many reciting desultory statistics about how the county is the worst in the nation…

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Brad Miller takes PSTA’s wish list to Tallahassee

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PSTA executive director Brad Miller is in Tallahassee on Tuesday, making the rounds with lawmakers from Pinellas County about the wish list for his transit agency for the 2017 Legislative session. The visit has been described in somewhat dark tones by critics of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between PSTA and its cross-bay transit partners with HART. The MOU was spurred by Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long’s advocacy for more formal collaboration between the two agencies, with the opportunity to have a…

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HART board approves agreement with PSTA – but not without considerable debate

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The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority board approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to cooperate and collobarate with the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), but only after adding additional language clarifying that it is not a move towards a potential merger or a regional sales tax increase. That language was needed ostensibly to assuage the MOU’s critics, including HART board member Karen Jaroch. “The MOU is very vague and I keep questioning what is the need for this? And I haven’t…

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HART board members deny that collaboration with PSTA is a backdoor attempt to merge agencies

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A Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) committee approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) on Monday for further collaboration between the two Bay area transit agencies, but not before some members had to tamp down the notion that the agreement could ultimately lead to a merger — and perhaps a tax increase for transit. “This would be adopting an agreement to codify some opportunities to work more closely together,” said HART CEO Katharine Eagan in presenting the…

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Board member takes strong exception to potential interlocal agreement between HART and PSTA

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In late October, Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long – in her role with the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Agency (PSTA) – came before her counterparts with the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) to talk up the benefits of the two transit agencies collaborating on a more formal basis, which she said could be used as way to leverage the power of the region when trying to procure more federal and state funding. However at Monday’s HART meeting of its Legislative and Strategic Planning Committee, board member…

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Janet Long unveils a proposed Regional Council of Governments model for the Tampa Bay area

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Under a proposed regulation coming from the U.S. Department of Transportation, regional Metropolitan Organizations should merge into one large such agency. That’s prompted officials in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco counties to have some tentative discussions about such a merger. In that spirit, Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long unveiled a proposal at a joint meeting of the transit agencies of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties for a “Regional Council of Governments,” which would include having the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART)…

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