The King City Council unanimously approved an $11.5 million budget Monday which contains no tax increase, maintaining the rate at $0.422 per $100, but provides funding for a number of improvements in the city and adds several positions to a variety of departments.
The budget does include a nine percent increase in sewer charges, due to a projected nine percent increase in charges from the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County City/County Utility Commission, but will not increase water rates this year.
Transportation plan proposed
Council also heard of a new plan to provide a public transportation route in the city during their Monday meeting.
YVEDDI Transportation Director Jeff Cockerham told the council that his organization was in the beginning stages of a three phase plan to provide access to public transportation throughout the county, with the first phase focused on the King area.
“During the last 11 months, YVEDDI has provided at least 2,174 trips inside the city limits of King that were between zero and three miles in length,” said Cockerham. “We believe the population of King will support a deviated fixed route based on those numbers.”
He said the proposed route would run 10 times a day with initial plans for stops at Walmart, Carolina Apartments, King Senior Center, King Recreation Acres, King Drug, Food Lion, Stokes Family YMCA, Lowes Foods, Northwest Forsyth Tech Center, and the park and ride lot.
“We would base the stops on ridership and demand,” he said. “We could deviate by three quarters of a mile so anywhere in King could be a potential pick up or drop off location. We would want to start conservatively and build the service up.”
He said the service would likely use a 20-foot bus which could seat approximately 14 people, but said if demand required a larger vehicle they could work toward providing that.
The initial loop in King is projected to cost $52,000 a year and draw in $5,000 a year in fares. Cockerham said the remainder would likely be paid for through a matching grant from the federal government and possibly $23,000 in local funds.
“We are not asking for funding today,” he said. “However, we would like the city of King to consider the need for a bus route in King and support our continued planning toward that goal. When we have a finalized plan that you approve of, we will ask for a letter of support from the Council.”
He said the second phase of the project would create a connector route linking King, Walnut Cove and Danbury. The third phase would provide outer loop routes possibly providing service to Francisco, Sandy Ridge and Pine Hall.
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.