01.11.18

SCHUMER CALLS ON FEDS TO SWIFTLY UNFREEZE A $600K FEDERAL GRANT OWED TO CITY OF POUGHKEEPSIE

In A Letter To The FTA Schumer Makes Clear The Need To Review And Approve The City Of Poughkeepsie’s Plan In Order to Unlock Funds; Senator Says FTA Approval Will Unfreeze Long Awaited $600K Federal Grant

Schumer To Feds: It’s Time to give Poughkeepsie the Money They Deserve

After last month’s vote by the City of Poughkeepsie Common Council to lease its bus assets to Dutchess County, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer called on the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to review and approve the City of Poughkeepsie’s Transit Disposition Plan and revised Asset Disposition Plan in order to release federal funds. Schumer said review and approval of the disposition plans will unfreeze almost $600,000 of grant funds awarded by the FTA to the City of Poughkeepsie for bus operations in Fiscal Year 2015-2016. Schumer said it is time for the FTA act so the deserved federal funds can be released to the City of Poughkeepsie.

"This plan will release vital funding essential for Poughkeepsie as they work to balance the City's budget while ensuring bus service for the residents who rely on these buses every day to get to work or to see family and friends," Senator  Schumer.  "That is why I am calling on the FTA to do their part to review these plans with all due speed, clearing a final roadblock for the funds. I have written to FTA and I will continue to do all that I can to ensure that City of Poughkeepsie residents have the funds they need and deserve."

Last month, the City Council voted to lease the City of Poughkeepsie buses to Dutchess County, marking a final step needed to submit a Transit Disposition and Asset Disposition Plan to FTA. The City’s Transit Disposition and Asset Disposition plans demonstrate the proposals to lease assets purchased with federal funding to Dutchess County and preserve the federal transit interest.  The Dutchess County Legislature has also voted to approve the plan and lease agreement.

Once the FTA approves the revised plan, the City and County will be able to execute the lease agreement and the bus assets would be returned to transit service immediately. Additionally, approval by the FTA will aid the city budget and will unfreeze almost $600,000 of grant funds awarded to the City of Poughkeepsie, but were previously held up pending the approval of the disposition plans. Schumer said it is vital that the application be fully reviewed and quickly approved by the FTA.

A copy of Schumer’s letter appears below: 

Dear Mr. Goodman:

I write to urge you to swiftly review and approve the City of Poughkeepsie’s Transit Disposition Plan and revised Asset Disposition Plan for the City’s bus service transfer to Dutchess County. While it is important to ensure that disposition plans and agreements meet all the necessary Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant requirements, it is my hope that the FTA will promptly review and approve the disposition plans in order to unfreeze grant funds awarded by the FTA to the City of Poughkeepsie for bus operations in Fiscal Year 2015-2016.

The City of Poughkeepsie discontinued transit operations on June 30, 2017 and service was transferred to the County. The City’s Transit Disposition and Asset Disposition plans demonstrate the proposals to lease assets purchased with federal funding to Dutchess County and preserve the federal transit interest. The Asset Disposition plan includes an agreement to lease the bus systems to the County in support of the County’s transit operation, including for storage, parking and maintenance of buses and other transit assets. The City’s Common Council and the Dutchess County Legislature have approved the plan and lease agreement.

I urge you to review and approve the Transit Disposition Plan and revised Asset Disposition Plan as a concluding step in releasing to the City of Poughkeepsie FTA funds awarded for Fiscal Year 2015-2016. As you know, once the FTA approves the revised plan, the City and County will be able to execute the lease agreement and the bus assets would be returned to service immediately.  Thank you for your consideration and continued support of the service plans. Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer 

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