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CTA board members step down

July 20, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Last Friday, the debt-ridden Chambersburg Transit Authority bus made its last run through Chambersburg, Pa. The day before, the bus made its last loop around Waynesboro.

On Monday, CTA's three buses and a van were impounded and driven to a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation lot in Carlisle, Pa., authority board members said.

Another blow to the ill-fated public bus company came Monday night in a letter to the Washington Township Supervisors from Enoch Newlin. The supervisors appointed Newlin their representative on CTA's Board of Directors in June.

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Newlin, in a letter to the supervisors, announced his immediate resignation from the CTA board.

The insurance policy that provided the board members with liability insurance and protected them from legal action has expired, Michael A. Christopher, Washington Township manager, said Monday.

Newlin said his resignation created a snowball effect.

Sam Kuhn of Chambersburg, chairman of the CTA board, said Monday night that he, too, is resigning because of the loss of liability insurance.

Member Bill Grove said he plans to follow suit, "if it's a matter of insurance coverage."

Member Wade Burkholder declined comment "until I make my decision," he said.

Member Peg Eyer said she has no idea what has been going on with CTA's board.

"I haven't been to a meeting in quite awhile," she said.

Christopher credited Newlin "with bringing enthusiasm" to the board. "He tried hard to turn it around," Christopher said.

CTA began running the heavily subsidized public bus service in Chambersburg in 1991. Service in Waynesboro began in 1997.

According to a 2003 audit, the authority began to go deeply in debt in the late 1990s as state and federal funds meant for capital purchases went instead to pay for day-to-day operations.

Other audits are pending.

The authority is about $1 million in debt.

Last year, it cut service to three days a week in Chambersburg and two days a week on its Waynesboro/Washington Township route.

According to authority figures, about 1,000 people rode the bus each month.

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