It all came down to the bottom dollar at Pryor's budget and personnel meeting Tuesday.
The three-member board heard a presentation from Debbie McGlasson, the Pelivan Director at Grand Gateway as she made her funding request for the upcoming budget year.
“I'm so glad to be here,” said McGlasson. “We really do need to talk.”
She said she is seven years tenured and has seem a number of changes in the program.
“Our budget request has continually been higher than has been awarded. I understand your budget needs, but we are experiencing a loss in our Pryor system,” she said.
McGlasson reported that in the 2012-2013 fiscal year she requested $40,000 and received $17,000.
For the upcoming year her request is for $45,000.
“Our total projected budget for next year is $487,932. As you can see the amount we're requesting from Pryor is only nine percent of our budget, but it is crucial. We account for every penny,” said McGlasson.
She said Pryor is operating on a four-vehicle system, with two running non-stop Monday through Friday.
“Our director, Ed Crone, said what we have to do when a city's purse strings tighten is to offer service commensurate to what you can afford. Pryor, however, is a bare bones operation already,” said McGlasson.
“We haven't been able to carry Pryor with this deficit,” she said.
She said creative revenue sources must be found and out-of-the-box options. Once such idea is to partner with Sertoma or Community Action Resource and Development. Pelivan receives credit, and therefore funding, for the number of miles traveled.
“Let's work together. It is mutually beneficial, we get credit for miles and they get a great transportation service,” said McGlasson.
Mayor Jimmy Tramel said it would be a tricky conversation, likely to step on people's toes, but necessary nonetheless.
Pelivan works in conjunction with the Pryor Chamber of Commerce in providing safe transportation to hotels each night of Rocklahoma.
Another revenue option that McGlasson brought to the table was the idea of offering free transit to veterans, which is not something Pelivan currently does. This would be an appreciated service and provide opportunities for Pelivan to work with veteran’s organizations.
“We know our strength is in numbers and partnerships,” said McGlasson.
A transportation program for employees in MidAmerica Industrial Park showing car pool, public transit and bike path options was also discussed.
Conversation is underway between the Claremore and Pryor Rogers State University campuses. The campuses are entertaining the idea of a shuttle between the two locations, though nothing has been determined.
Upon questioning from the board, McGlasson explained that Pryor is the only city in Mayes County from which Pelivan requests subsidies. She said their experience has been that no other towns can afford it. Request has been made to the county commissioners who were unable to provide any financial assistance for legal reasons.