At its June 23 work session in Robertsdale, the Baldwin County Commission discussed renewing its Baldwin Rural Area Transport System (BRATS) contracts with Faulkner State Community College (FSCC), the Association of Retarded Citizens (ARC), the Council on Aging and AltaPointe Health Services.
BRATS transportation director Taylor Rider said the county’s annual contracts will last from this October through September of 2016. Those contracts were placed on the commission’s consent agenda for its next regular meeting.
The courier contract with Faulkner State, which provides transportation services to each of the Faulkner State campuses in the county Monday-Friday, will cost $1,130 monthly to be paid by FSCC. The county’s contract with FSCC for student use of existing BRATS routes will cost $1,195 per month.
The county’s contract with the Council on Aging will cost $4,850 monthly and will provide BRATS transportation to nutritional centers for the county’s senior citizens. Another transportation contract will provide 12 daily routes for ARC to county locations at a cost of $24,360, or $2,030 per route.
“Your drivers do a fantastic job with that route,” Commissioner Chris Elliott said of the ARC contract. “They are wonderful, good people who are really good to those folks. I hear about it all the time. Y’all do a lot more than drive, and we appreciate it.”
The final BRATS contract serves AltaPointe Health Services for $5,600 per month for the use of four transportation routes to locations in the county.
Rider also told the commission the BRATS contract for its park-and-ride location at the Gathering Place in Spanish Fort would end July 10. He said Cypress Equities, the developer of the Spanish Fort Town Center, would allow BRATS to use a portion of an existing parking lot adjacent to Bass Pro Shop for a temporary park-and-ride location beginning July 13.
The temporary location will allow BRATS to use 32 parking spaces at the Town Center through December. Rider told the commission the county and the Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization had plans to open a permanent BRATS location there in the future.
The commission also discussed a proposal from the communications and information systems department to implement a live chat function on the county’s website to increase communication with the public. The county uses phone lines, fax and email at its citizens service center, and the department would answer live chat questions in the same way. The live chat would use the county’s current software at no additional cost.