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MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -
A tentative agreement has finally been reached, to bring back bus service to the Everest Metro area.
Tuesday night, a group of bus advocates agreed to support a reduced level of bus service in the area. This comes after months of discussion and a lot of back and forth.
It's an announcement many have been waiting to hear.
"So the goal of NAOMI through all of this has been to get some effect of transit service," said NAOMI representative Dan Danson.
The Weston area will have bus service again, and all parties seem to be on board. An organization called NAOMI, made up of advocates for bus service, has been vocal about bringing it back, after the service was cut last year. And in June, voters chose to bring bus service back.
"There was a whole set of discussions and things through the summer and Weston just decided they were not going to do it and we felt there was a need for the referendum," said Danson.
But there's been a debate about how to pay for it. Voters recently defeated a tax increase to do that. But now, the issue seems to be settled. The City of Schofield has agreed to partner with Weston to pay for the service.
"Weston is leaning toward going with this type of a route schedule also the last proposal provided would have a route that includes Schofield, Weston and a short segment into Rothschild," said the City of Schofield Mayor, Ken Fabel.
But Schofield has only agreed to pay for seven bus runs. Weston wants to fund the same number. And now, bus advocates say they'll support that.
"One of the reasons we were open to what's being sort of built as compromise is because from the get go we were open to having some flexibility in what the service would be," said Danson.
They say restoring the service even if it's reduced, is a great thing for the community.
"We think this is a good resolution a good place for the community to be in and we're satisfied with the arrangement," said Danson.
But it's not done yet. A meeting is scheduled on Thursday to make final plans.
Weston leaders hope Rothschild will join the plan as well. The bus service is scheduled to begin January 1st.
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