Walker Co. residents worried about bus transit service
Some Walker County Residents were concerned after sole Commissioner Bebe Heiskell decided not to renew the transit's contract at a meeting this week.
That contract ends Monday, but Friday we learned the bus will keep running, at least for now. But it's future is uncertain.
Joyce McNish works round the clock to take care of her 23-year-old daughter Kindra, who has been suffering from conditions like Cerebral Atrophy and Kyposis since she was a baby. Kindra uses a special wheel chair that makes it tough for her to get to the doctor.
"It doesn't fold up, it's molded to her body, so we have to have a way that we can transport her, and the best way has been the walker county transit bus," said Joyce McNish
But McNish learned Friday the Walker Transit could be in trouble.
"I was appalled. I thought oh my goodness, because Kindra needs refills on her prescriptions, so I was going to call Monday to get an appointment set up," said McNish.
Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell wouldn't speak on camera. She did tell us the contract expires on Monday. But the county will pay to renew a temporary contract through July 31.
We reported earlier this week the county is facing a $3,000,000 shortfall in the budget. Heiskell told Channel 3 on Friday the transit is expensive, and they're buying time to find a sufficient source of funding. If they don't, he transit could see some cutbacks or be cut all together.
Mcnish says that would be a whole new struggle for her family.
"Where would we be if we didn't have this bus that could take us to the doctor, that could take us to get groceries, that could take us to get our medications? Some people don't have family that they can fall back on," said McNish.
Walker Transit employees say Friday is the first time they're hearing of this potential problem as well. They're concerned about their jobs, and the nearly 300 riders they have each day.
Many of them use the bus for medical appointments, at a cost of just $2 per trip. They say they transport about 60 dialysis patients to treatment each week.