Needed federal payout finally on the way for Oneida-Vilas Transit CommissionSubmitted: 09/25/2017
Needed federal payout finally on the way for Oneida-Vilas Transit Commission
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

RHINELANDER - The Oneida-Vilas Transit Commission will get its long-awaited federal funding installment by October 4.

The timing means no Northwoods Transit Connections drivers will have to voluntarily furlough their pay, but the requirement of 24-hour advance notice for rides will stay in place.

Transit Commission Chair Erv Teichmiller learned the news over the weekend.

The commission is waiting on an expected payment of $300,000 from the federal government. In 2016, that money came in early September. As of last Friday, the commission wasn't expecting the payment until as late as November.

The state Department of Transportation makes the application on behalf of the commission and similar public transit systems across the state. The state DOT put in the application to the federal government much later in 2017 than in 2016, resulting in the later payment.

The Oneida-Vilas Transit Commission looked for ways to bridge the gap in funding, but both Oneida and Vilas counties turned down requests for emergency loans.

On Friday, the commission approved scrapping its on-demand ride service as a cost-saving measure. Riders now need to call at least 24 ahead of time to arrange a pickup. That provision will stay in place until at least the end of the year.

Several Transit Connections drivers had offered to have their pay withheld until the federal funds came in. On Friday, the board accepted their offer, but on Monday, Teichmiller said it wouldn't be necessary.

Teichmiller is no longer pursuing the anonymous funding source he had mentioned on Friday, either.

Northwoods Transit Connections serves riders with low-cost transportation within and between the Rhinelander, Mincoqua, and Eagle River areas. It's on pace to give about 60,000 rides this year.

Click the links below for more on this story.

Related Weblinks:
Popular Northwoods public transit option, lacking federal funding, will 'probably' shut down some services
Northwoods Transit Connections to continue operation; will furlough some drivers, force advance ride notice

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


Play Video

MINOCQUA - A Minocqua store will stock up on more locally sourced food products this spring and summer season. The Wild Berry Market teamed up with a new community-supported agriculture group, or CSA.

The Lake Superior CSA combines local farmer products into vegetable, meat, and fruit boxes.

+ Read More

ARBOR VITAE - You won't want to wear your best clothes to one race in May.

Minocqua's Color Run Fundraiser is a 3K and 5K race for Arbor Vitae-Woodruff and MJ1 schools.

The race is one of the schools' biggest fundraisers for field trips, additional school supplies and equipment.

The Color Run raised almost $20,000 last year.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Looking back on his 28 years as airport director, Joe Brauer says he has a lot to be proud of. 

"When we got the disabled passenger lift, the non-motorized one, we were very, very proud of that," said Brauer, who's worked as the airport director for 28 years. He's also been in the airline business for 20 years. 

Now, the longtime Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport director will be passing things off to a familiar face. 

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Chilly temperatures and gray skies greeted people in the Northwoods on the first day of spring.

Despite the near freezing temperatures, a team of two wanted to give you a reason to smile Tuesday.

Hometown Chiropractic chiropractor Grace Nash stood along Highway 47 in Rhinelander with her coworker holding up green signs with positive messages like 'Smile it's contagious.'

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - Jesse Kuczmarski always dreamed of owning his own body shop. His wife, Chantel, thought it would be neat to work with her husband.

Both now have what they want. The Kuczmarskis became the new owners of Accent Auto Body in Eagle River in October.

Jesse works on cars, while Chantel handles social media, taxes, and administration.

"The first day that we worked together, we looked at each other, and we just thought, wow, this is just so amazing to be able to work together," Chantel said. "It was so peaceful in the shop."

+ Read More

MADISON - The Wisconsin Senate has unanimously approved an $80 million juvenile justice overhaul plan that would close the troubled Lincoln Hills prison by 2021 and replace it with smaller regional facilities.

The Senate voted without any debate Tuesday to pass the plan, which largely mirrors what the Assembly unanimously approved last month.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander man's wallet will soon get a lot fuller.

Paul Webster is one of the lucky players who won $50,000 playing Powerball from last week's drawing.

Webster bought his ticket at Wagner's Westside Shell in Rhinelander.

Shell Cashier Brenda Novak says she doesn't know Webster, but hopes to meet him soon.

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here