Council signs off on DART funding application

An application seeking nearly $1 million worth of federal and state assistance for Dodger Area Rapid Transit was approved Friday by the Fort Dodge City Council.

The application is for:

$418,625 from the federal government to help pay for replacing up to four buses;

$320,260 from the federal government for operating expenses;

$182,381 from the state government for operating expenses.

Applying for the money will have no impact on the city’s transit tax of 42 cents per $1,000 of taxable value, according to City Manager David Fierke.

The council voted unanimously to approve the application, which must be received by the Iowa Department of Transportation by Wednesday.

Councilman Mark Taylor said the DART buses seem to be “exceptionally large” for the number of people riding them.

Shirley Helgevold, a local assistance manager with MIDAS Council of Governments in Fort Dodge, replied that the transit agency is considering replacing some buses with minivans. MIDAS Council of Governments runs the bus system for the city.