Council to hear request for funds

COLUMBIA CITY — The head of Whitley County’s public transportation system will seek money from the Whitley County Council next week.Jackie Hake, executive director of Whitley County Transit is asking for her organization’s annual allotment of money from the County Economic Development Income Tax — an infusion of $20,000 as part of a local match with the Indiana Department of Transportation.“These funds have gone a long way to support this growing program as we are starting our fifth year of public transportation,” said Hake in a letter to council president Kim Wheeler.Hake reports the program, which is a branch of the Whitley County Council on Aging, cost $306,847 in 2010.“We drove a combination of 198,463 passenger miles, consumed 18,544 gallons of fuel and delivered 21,931 total trips,” she said.Hake said the program began in January of 2007 and provides transportation for senior citizens, disabled persons and children who need rides to daycare, Head Start and kindergarten.“We work with the Lighthouse homeless shelter, the work release program and Passages,” she said.“We will continue to increase our trips, and in time we hope to increase the schedule to longer hours when that becomes feasible.”