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January 16, 2013

Windham to withdraw from CART

Transit system leaders to seek reconsideration

DERRY — Directors of the Cooperative Alliance for Regional Transportation will appeal to Windham officials to stay in the transit system.

Windham selectmen this week voted to cut about $13,000 in funding and withdraw from the agency that serves six towns.

CART directors, meeting yesterday in Derry, agreed to reach out to Windham.

“Hopefully, we can get that vote changed,” said vice chairman Kathleen Costello, a Windham resident.

Directors expressed concern over the urgency for action with Town Meeting fast approaching.

“Time is certainly of the essence,” said Scott Bogle, Rockingham Planning Commission’s representative to the board.

CART officials hope to huddle with Windham officials as soon as possible, probably within the next couple of weeks.

Selectmen split, 3-2, Monday night in their decision to pull out of CART.

Selectmen’s Chairman Bruce Breton, Selectmen Roger Hohenberger and Phil LoChiatto voted for withdrawal. Selectmen Ross McLeod and Kathleen DiFruscia were opposed.

There was no opposition from citizens at the selectmen’s meeting.

“No one showed up and CART (representatives) didn’t show up,” Breton said.

CART directors expressed regret a representative of their agency wasn’t in attendance and said they were unaware the service would be discussed.

Breton had initiated the move to trim spending because the town has its own ride service residents can schedule at no cost. They pay $3 or $4 one way for rides they schedule through CART.

“We have a duplication of services,” Breton said.

Residents also save money using the town van.

“This is no money out of their pocket,” Breton said.

Under Breton’s plan, selectmen voted to cut the CART funding and use $8,000 of that money to pay for any added expense with the town’s van service.

“That may or may not be needed,” Breton said.

The town should see a savings of at least $5,000, probably more.

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