Ensuring a smooth ridePublished 10:14am Thursday, December 26, 2013
City, county almost finished transitioning AMCAT to Cedar Valley Services
Cedar Valley Services is almost all set to take over the Austin-Mower County Area Transit system from local officials in 2014, barring an approval of AMCAT’s appraised property value by the state.
Mower County Coordinator Craig Oscarson said Minnesota officials need to approve the appraised value the joint powers board gave for AMCAT property at 2801 Oakland Ave. W by the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition. Oscarson said once the land appraisal is approved, the city and county can also transfer AMCAT funds to Cedar Valley Services, as those funds are state and federal transportation grants that local officials can’t keep for other purposes.
“Everything seems to be going smooth with Cedar Valley,” Oscarson said. “We expect good things.”
MnDOT officials pushed Mower, Steele and Freeborn counties to merge public transportation services earlier this year as a way to save money and reduce the amount of transit authorities in the state. Though Austin and Mower officials were working on a plan to create a tri-county transportation authority, Steele County opted to turn its services over to Cedar Valley Services.
Austin and Mower County followed suit, as Cedar Valley Services also runs Albert Lea Transit throughout Freeborn County.
AMCAT’s board of directors voted to dissolve the busing entity in August. The Austin City Council and Mower County Board of Commissioners dissolved its joint powers agreement concerning AMCAT earlier this month. Cedar Valley Services will take over AMCAT’s routes on Jan. 1.