July 19, 2005--Posted at 10:30 PM CST, updated at 7:38 a.m. on July 20, updated at 8:29 a.m. on 7/20/05
JONESBORO-In an eleven to one vote, the Jonesboro City Council gave the go ahead on the Jonesboro Economical Transportation System or J.E.T.S..
After nearly 15 minutes of open debate, the program was approved. Resident Candella Fincher is pleased.
Fincher said, "I live in the north side of town in a decent house with a decent car. I see people walking daily to where they need to go or to take their kids to soccer practice."
The city has to fund 20 percent of the project over the next three years, or nearly $300,000. The rest will be provided by the federal government. Councilman Chris Moore says he thinks that tax payer money is being wasted.
Moore said, "The bottom line is that it is all taxpayers money. The entire $3,000,000 came from federal citizen taxpayers and the taxpayers of the state. Before we spend that money, we need to decide if public transportation is needed and wanted by the public."
The program will be subsidized for three years. After that, the citizens will get to vote on whether or not to keep the system; a vote that Councilwoman Ann Williams thinks the citizens will approve.
Williams said, "I think that we have no choice but to give it a chance at least for the time that we have indicated for three years. I think it will be successful and be here to stay."
Jonesboro Mayor Doug Formon was thrilled with the Council's decision. "I am extremely happy to bring this much needed service to the citizens of Jonesboro," said Formon, "and I appreciate the council approving the funding. My office has worked hard over the past few months to make sure this was for the good of Jonesboro. I am proud of the plan we have and look forward to the first ride, on the first transport."