Public transit general manager resigns, federal funding frozen - WNEM TV 5

Public transit general manager resigns, federal funding frozen

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Sylvester Payne Sylvester Payne

A city's public transportation has had a third of its budget frozen after a review.

The Federal Transportation Authority is freezing funds because the Saginaw Transit Authority Regional Services missed deadlines to fix several issues.

"My major concern here is how quick can the feds turn this around? They can drag their feed or they can support us and help us," said STARS chair of the board of directors, Daniel LaPan.

In Nov. significant changes were made to STARS route to make up a $1.5 million deficit. A move that surprised many, and came just months after voters approved a tax increase to keep the bus system running.

"They were concerned about the number of issues we had and the response time in which they felt we needed to respond to those issues," said STARS general manager, Sylvester Payne.

Payne said STARS only has enough left in the budget to operate for about a month.

"We are still working and striving to resolve the issue, and we're going to come up, hopefully, with a plan since what we presented to them doesn't seem to satisfy them," Payne said.

During a meeting with board members, Payne submitted a letter of resignation and will be out in September. Payne said he is stepping down because of health reasons.

"Health problems have not really been resolved, so I think it's time for me to let it go, let someone else come in that has the spunk and fiber to get the job done," Payne said.

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