CARTA Now On Track To Meet Budget

Thursday, February 21, 2013

CARTA Executive Director Tom Dugan said the agency, which earlier appeared to be facing a deficit as large as $1 million, now appears to be back on track.

He said, "Now we think we've got it covered. We feel like we're going to break even."

Mr. Dugan noted that due to his upcoming retirement, his salary will no longer be in the budget.

He said overall staff salaries will be lower than at present in the 2014 budget.

The current budget is $19,043,000 and the upcoming one will be $14,441,000.

Mr. Dugan said the chief budget factor is for health insurance. He said that now accounts for over 10 percent of CARTA's spending.

"It's bigger now than fuel," he said.

On the fuel item, CARTA recently has begun buying under a contract that gives a $3.35 per gallon price if the agency would have to pay higher otherwise. The current price is at $3.37 - up from $3.09 just a short time ago.

Mr. Dugan said CARTA is currently paying the city of Chattanooga $40,000 per month from parking revenues. He said that will go down to $20,000 a month and then go away. At that time, CARTA will be able to use the sizable income for improving parking facilities and for the free electric Shuttle, he said.

Thursday was the final day on the job for Don Watson after 35 years. He has overseen the bus maintenance program.


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