WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Wilmington City Council, New Hanover County Commissioners, and members of the Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority met Thursday afternoon to discuss the future funding of Wave Transit.
At a meeting last October, local leaders voted to forgive over $100,000 in debt owed by the transit agency.
Thursday, the politicians debated for over an hour about who should shoulder the funding load.
The City of Wilmington has historically paid more than the county to support the transit agency. City council members argued that New Hanover County should have to pay more on their end because many parts of the county are developed municipalities that include transit users. County commissioners disagreed with this notion.
County commissioners eventually voted to go 50-50 with the city to put money towards a Wave Transit fund balance. The commissioners then agreed to set aside $275,000 for the agency this next fiscal year.
"They obviously have a limited view of what their participation is," said Wilmington City Councilman Kevin O'Grady. "They did step up today with a little more in the fund balance which is a big help. We'll continue to talk to them."
Woody White, Chairman of the New Hanover County Commissioners, was hesitant about putting more money towards the transit company.
"I think public transportation is something that's expensive and it's our job to make sure that the dollars are being spent wisely, and that we're not wasting tax dollars," White explained.
The governing bodies came into the meeting hoping for a long-term funding agreement. That wasn't reached, but action taken by the county made it feasible for WAVE transit to begin looking at their next fiscal budget.
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