A Wausau area village that eliminated all public transit is now proposing a compromise.
The village of Weston dropped out of the Wausau area regional bus system last year because of funding cuts in Governor Walker's state budget. The loss of public transit prompted an outcry from local religious leaders, who got a direct legislation referendum passed in June, forcing Weston to restore 12 bus routes a day. Last week, the village asked its residents to pay for the buses in a second referendum, and the residents said 'no'. Now, village Administrator Daniel Guild says Weston is proposing a compromise of seven bus routes a day, "Trying to find a middle ground between those people here in the community that so strongly endorsed public transportation, but also being respectful of the fact that a significant portion of our community chose not to give us the resources and the funding to pay for the bus."
Guild admits that the proposal still puts Weston in violation of the mandate it faces from the first referendum. The administrator says it's a common dilemma for municipalities, with people demanding services that they refuse to pay for, "We're pretty accustomed to the public enjoying services but not enjoying the taxes that provide them."
Time is running out for bus service to be restored in Weston and two other Wausau area communities next year, because final budgets are being drawn up right now.