Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic bused it to a town-hall style meeting in Oak Creek to recognize "unmet needs" in the county's transit system.
As part of her Chat with the Chair initiative, Dimitrijevic is taking the county bus to host meetings in all 19 Milwaukee County municipalities. Transit was one of a few concerns expressed at yesterday's session, the fifth in her . A small number of residents asked questions about transit, 13th Street and Bender Park.
Dimitrijevic noted a shortfall in transit services in suburban communities, . In fact, Dimitrijevic had to be picked up in Franklin because she could not get to through public transportation.
Dimitrijevic said the challenge is that public transit and county parks are competing for property tax dollars.
Through a federal grant, the county instituted three new express routes, but they only go as far south as the airport.
As county board chairwoman, Dimitrijevic said transit is No. 1 on her agenda.
"Transportation is an important part of our infrastructure and when you're talking about economic development, roads are important, but even more so businesses want to build and be near transit lines," Dimitrijevic said.
In the past, the county has cut routes and raised fares. However, Dimitrijevic said officials are trying to adopt a dedicated funding source in the 2013 budget.
County Supervisor Steve Taylor, who represents the majority of Oak Creek on the board, said he has heard loud and clear that 13th Street is a problem. $4 million worth of repairs are scheduled for 2017.
Mayor Steve Scaffidi and some alderman said they hoped the stretch from Rawson and Puetz is repaired first, which Taylor said can be done.
Taylor said road issues are important in this area and wants to get as much done in the next four years as possible.
"You look at Oak Creek (local) roads and they are outstanding," Taylor said. "Franklin roads are outstanding. Hales Corners roads are the same.
"But the county roads are atrocious."
A resident suggested adding an ice skating rink at , but Taylor said that was unlikely with the $300 million shortfall that parks will face.
Instead, Taylor said a revenue-generating campground is something that could be discussed in the future.