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Centre Region COG updates CATA funding formula

The Centre Region Council of Governments General Forum on Monday updated the funding formula for municipal contributions to CATA.
The Centre Region Council of Governments General Forum on Monday updated the funding formula for municipal contributions to CATA. Centre Daily Times, file

At its meeting Monday night, the Centre Region Council of Governments General Forum voted to change the Centre Area Transportation Authority funding formula.

State College Borough Council had asked for a review of the Miller Formula — in use since the early ’90s — which it felt didn’t fairly divvy up costs for CATA services between the member municipalities.

State College borough Councilman Evan Myers said the council wanted to make sure the CATA funding formula was fair and easily understood.

The Miller Formula distributes local share matches based on each CATA route’s estimated mileage, ridership, revenue and expense data, according to COG.

But the large swings in the Miller Formula made it difficult for municipalities to budget for their portion, said Louwana Oliva, CATA’s general manager.

The new CATA funding formula — which was approved by COG with one abstention — will use three factors, including population, service miles and number of stops, Oliva said.

In addition, the formula will be weighted at 30 percent for population, and 35 percent each for service miles and stops.

The new formula will be used for the preparation of the 2017-18 CATA budget.

CATA provides transit and other services for its five member municipalities — State College borough and Ferguson, College, Patton and Harris townships — and four contracted municipalities — Bellefonte borough and Spring, Benner and Halfmoon townships.

Oliva said none of the contracted municipalities want to become members.

At the meeting, the General Forum also endorsed — with one abstention — a proposal that combined municipal contributions to the CATA capital budget will be set at $100,000 for the 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 budget years.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz

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