Transportation Ended For Workshop Clients

April 21, 1991|By Ed McDonough | Ed McDonough,Staff writer

WESTMINSTER — Some 45 Carroll Haven clients must try to find another way to get tothe sheltered workshop tomorrow after their transportation contractor canceled service.

The contractor -- Association for Retarded Citizens-Carroll County -- said Friday it was discontinuing service immediately to the state-funded Carroll Haven clients because the state payment of $8.25 per trip did not cover the cost of providing the service.

Tim Atkinson, ARC executive director, said the actual cost per trip is $12.39.

Both the ARC and Carroll Haven help find employment for metally retarded adults. But while Carroll Haven is almost entirely state-funded, ARC's budget comes from a combination of private, state and county money. ARC has been fighting budget deficit problems for several years. But the agency's board of directors is committed tostarting fiscal 1992 with a balanced budget, Atkinson said, and that's one reason for the decision to stop serving Carroll Haven clients.

Atkinson said Carroll Haven recently put the transportation contract out to bid and said the $12.39 bid by his group was the lowest received. But, he said, state officials in charge of services for the disabled have failed to boost their payment above the $8.25.

Richard Glaser, executive director of Carroll Haven, said that while the state could not afford to begin paying $12.39 immediately, the state had agreed to pay that price starting in July and would refund the difference accumulated between now and July over the next two or three years.

Glaser said Friday that Carroll Haven clients have been advised to seek their own transportation to the center and added the majority should be able to get rides from family or friends. He added Carroll Haven is seeking a long-term solution to the termination.

The ARC informed Carroll Haven more than three weeks ago that it was stopping transportation as of April 12, but Carroll Haven asked for, and received, a one-week extension, Atkinson said.

"That came as quitea shock," Glaser said of the decision by ARC.

Atkinson said ARC was dropping the service to help eliminate deficits, which were as much as $180,000 in fiscal 1988 for transportation alone. He said four of the oldest of ARC's 10 vans likely would be taken out of service and as many as six drivers or aides may be laid off, though he said some may be moved to other programs.

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