Business Items    Item #   11. b.            
Regular Council Meeting Agenda
Meeting Date: 03/09/2020  
Title: Specialized Transit Services Dissolution - Wolanski
Department: Community & Protective Services
Where People Choose to Live - A dynamic city with an exceptional quality of life
Spruce Grove is a well-planned city, with a high ease of community connectivity and mobility for transportation and walkability.

Request for Decision Summary
As the merger has been completed with Stony Plain for the Accessible Transportation Service, the Specialized Transit Service organization and Board are no longer required.

Proposed Motion
That the City of Spruce Grove accept and approve the dissolution of the Specialized Transit Service effective March 27, 2020 and thank them for their decades of outstanding service to the community.  
In 2018, the Specialized Transit Service (STS) Board approached the City to approve a dissolution of their operations as was required under agreement with the City.  At that time, City Council did not accept the dissolution and appointed several members of administration to the Board in order to maintain operations while the City explored several options for the service.  Throughout 2019 discussions took place related to a merger of STS with Stony Plain Handi-bus.  On November 25, 2019 following a detailed report and presentation, Council made the decision to merge the two systems into one Accessible Transportation Service (ATS) and for administration to proceed with assisting the STS with their dissolution. 

ATS officially commenced the combined service on February 3, 2020.  There has been and will continue to be some work required to wind down the operations of STS up until March 27, 2020.  During the February 12, 2020 STS Board Meeting the following motion was passed:

Moved by Chantal McKenzie, seconded by David Wolanski to dissolve Spruce Grove Specialized Transit Service on March 27, 2020.  Carried.

History of STS
In October of 1982, the Spruce Grove Golden Age Club wrote to the Spruce Grove Town Council requesting available grant money from the Government of Alberta be used for the purchase of a 12-passenger van for transportation for small groups of senior citizens and the handicapped.  Town Council agreed to buy such a van, which was to remain under ownership of the Town, and on April 23, 1983 it was officially presented by Mayor George Cuff, on behalf of Town Council, to the Golden Age Club.  Between 1982 and 1994 the Van Committee of the Spruce Grove Golden Age Club administered the Grove Senior's Van as it had become known.  

As the time came to replace the van in 1993, the Van Committee began the work of formalizing a non-profit organization separate from the Golden Age Club which resulted in the formation of the Specialized Transit Service officially on January 25, 1994.  In the early years, volunteer dispatchers were used to operate the service; however, a paid dispatcher and administrator was hired in 1985.  Bonnie Foster remained in the position until her retirement in 2017.  

Throughout the 38 years of service provision and nearly 26 years of the official STS, there have been countless dedicated volunteers, employees, and drivers that have served their clients with professionalism, compassion, and unfailing commitment to our community and to the organization.  The service has grown by leaps and bounds both in numbers but also in the quality of service to Spruce Grove and surrounding residents.  There have been countless partnerships that have also contributed to the success of STS including Parkland County, Golden Age Club, and many others which we know will continue with the new system.  

The City believes in strong partnerships and is grateful for the relationship with the Town of Stony Plain in working with the City to develop a sub-regional accessible service that will provide residents with even greater efficiencies of service for decades to come.  
The merger with Stony Plain has already taken place and there is no longer a requirement for the STS as an organization and Board.
All current volunteer members of the STS Board were already presented with certificates of recognition from Council in the fall of 2019.  
City administration will continue to work with STS on the winding down of operations to ensure all legal requirements are met.    

Fiscal Impact
Financial Implications:
As reported to Council in November 25, 2019, there will be funds remaining at the end of dissolution after paying all obligations and motions of the Board.  The STS board will pass a motion to return any excess funds to the City upon the completion of those obligations.  These excess funds will be used to cover any additional financial impacts related to the merged system and it is anticipated that it will cover any increases over existing City commitments to STS for a few years.