The Community Connector’s Odlin Road bus route is close to being saved for the year

Councilman Joe Baldacci receives a Distinguished Citizen Award from the Maine Association of Interdependent Neighborhoods (MAIN) from Kandie Davenport-Desell at the spaghetti dinner that raised close to $5 thousand for a bus route. Photo by Ramona du Houx

Councilman Joe Baldacci receives a Distinguished Citizen Award from the Maine Association of Interdependent Neighborhoods (MAIN) from Kandie Davenport-Desell at the spaghetti dinner that raised close to $5 thousand for a bus route. Photo by Ramona du Houx

From the Bangor Daily News — The Community Connector’s Odlin Road bus route is close to being saved for the year, but a significant loss in revenue expected next year could mean deeper cuts for the bus system.

A section from the article:

Community Connector targeted the Odlin Road route for elimination after the city asked the bus service to cut $20,000 from its budget. During spring budget talks, the city faced a significant loss of state funding and increasing state and federal mandates. The council told the city to issue across-the-board cuts to departments. The cost of the Odlin Road route, which was the newest and least traveled in the system, just happened to be $20,000, so it was slated for elimination.

In the summer, a community effort sparked to save the route and support public transportation. The city set up a fund for donations. In August, Councilor Joe Baldacci volunteered his annual council salary of $2,000 to give the route a few more months. Around the same time, Discovery House, an outpatient center for people recovering from addiction, located along the Odlin Road route, also has offered up to $2,000 to maintain the route. Brent Miller, director of the center, said many of his clients rely on that bus route to get to their treatments on a daily basis.

Baldacci then launched a fundraising effort, including a spaghetti supper that brought in about $4,700.

“The future of this bus route, that’s going to have to be determined by our future budget,” Baldacci said. “This is going to be a continuing issue, but I’m at least happy that we can continue to fund it through June 30.

Read the full article here.

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