Sunday, Dec 21, 2014
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County seeks bus bench proposal

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BROOKSVILLE - Hernando County is still working on a feasibility study to see if any of the public transit stops along the roadways require benches.

Assistant County Administrator for Planning & Development Ron Pianta told county commissioners that staff is working on bringing before the board of the Metropolitan Planning Organization a proposal authorizing it to look at existing bus stops and determine where benches are feasible and whether the county would need to make improvements, such as installing cement pads or sidewalks.

Pianta also said the study would explore placing advertising on the benches.

County Commissioner Nick Nicholson is leading the charge on the benches and asked for an update at the last Commission meeting.

Nicholson, who wanted the Lion's Club to erect the benches, recently said he was told by staff that the county would have to bid it out and give other companies or organizations a shot.

Nicholson said he is not in favor of that and expects staff to come to the board with a proposal for the county to do it alone, once it gets all the prices and specifications completed.

Nicholson said he doesn't know how much it will cost the county but that advertising on the benches would more than pay for the initial cash layout.

The county would also determine which bus stops would get the first benches, although the ultimate aim is to install them at all locations, he said.

Nicholson said Tuesday he would like the county move on this matter but understands how slow government can proceed.

The lack of benches is a hardship for disabled residents, he said.

"There are people who have trouble walking, much less standing," he said. "This needs to get done as fast as we can."

mbates@hernandotoday.com

(352) 544-5290

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