Plan ready for state

JOHNSTOWN – Fulton County’s commuter bus line program has submitted a draft Program Management Plan to the state after several federal compliance issues that came to light this summer, a county official said.

County Planning Director James Mraz recently told the Board of Supervisors’ Buildings and Grounds-Highway Committee the county is required to submit a public transportation plan to the state Department of Transportation.

The Board of Supervisors will consider approval of a resolution Monday to formally submit the plan.

The local program is run under the federal Section 5311 Program, for which Amsterdam-based I Persch is Fulton County’s third-party operator.

Mraz said Fulton County receives subsidies for the program. He said that in 2012, the DOT indicated it would implement a statewide program compliance review of public transportation systems receiving federal and state subsidies under the Section 5311 Program.

Last November, DOT notified Fulton County that DOT would conduct an on-site review of the commuter bus line program.

Mraz said DOT on June 10 completed its review, which took place at I Persch’s Brown Coach operation on Venner Road in Amsterdam. He said the DOT two days later sent the county a letter identifying “several federal compliance issues.”

He told the committee the issues are “minor,” although he didn’t discuss them publicly.

Mraz said DOT advised I Persch and Fulton County to address the issues in order to assure federal compliance. He said the county was given 90 days to take “corrective actions.”

The plan submitted was to include: I Persch’s operational policies, Fulton County’s civil rights policies, disadvantaged business enterprise policies, Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines, and procurement policies and procedures.

Mraz said the county or I Persch may have to take other measures. For example, he said the county may have to establish additional policies and guidelines.