Weston leaders still plan to stop bus line at end of year
WESTON (WAOW) -- Bus riders know their days are numbered on Route K -- the path that winds through Weston -- unless local leaders change their minds about funding cuts. One family said depending on the bus has made them more independent.
The wheels on the bus roll through town, along Schofield Avenue to pick up riders along the Weston route. After a village board decision in March, the trustees decided to stop funding at the end of the year by a 5 to 1 vote. Their explanation: not enough green in their budget to keep the blue buses rolling.
One couple said they depend on Route K to keep their lives and their grandsons on track.
"As much as we try to make our lives flexible for their needs, with working, we just can't be there for them all the time," said Joan Binkowski, who lives in Weston.
Two of the Binkowski's grandchildren live at their Weston home. Each pays $30 for monthly passes to get to school and run other errands. Without the bus, the Binkowskis said juggling the family's four separate schedules would be tricky.
"We'd have to make some serious adjustments," said James Binkowski. "With my out of town schedule, it's almost impossible."
On Tuesday night, Weston village president Fred Schuster said he looked for a motion to consider a new plan. But he said no one jumped onboard.
Weston village leaders said they already run a tight ship, keeping the ranks of their employees to a minimum to make the most of tax dollars. They report it can cost close to $100,000 a year to keep the bus wheels rolling -- money the village can't afford. Schuster said even though rides are important, the village has other priorities too.
"A municipality's first responsibilities as I'll call them includes providing fire and police protection," said Schuster. "Those are the big ones."
The Binkowskis said they still wish for the best, hoping the squeaky wheel might get a little grease before time runs out.
"There's a lot of people out there that do not have the ability to get to places and losing the bus is going to hurt them," said James.
In order for the board to consider a motion, one of the members who originally voted to stop funding it would need to change their mind.