NRoute to get $668,098 for new buses, trolleys

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 23, 2009

The NRoute Transit Commission will receive $668,098 in federal stimulus money, the group said at its monthly meeting Wednesday evening.

The commission also accepted a letter of resignation from board member Malissa Winfield, wife of Mayor Paul Winfield.

The stimulus money is to be used to purchase two 25-passenger busses, one 40-passenger bus, two trollies and $50,000 worth of shop materials, said NRoute Executive Director Evelyn Bumpers. The passenger buses will be placed in the rotation of the current nine-bus fleet, said Bumpers, while the trollies will be used specifically downtown.

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Bumpers said more stimulus money could be on the way to establish a regional maintenance shop and training facility in Vicksburg, which would also serve as NRoute’s administrative offices. The commission included the regional facility in its March request for stimulus money, and Bumpers said a second round of allocations should be announced by the Mississippi Department of Transportation later this fall.

“I don’t think they would approve shop materials in this round if we weren’t going to get the shop (in the next round),” she told the board, adding she did not know when the first round of stimulus funds would arrive.

The commission has already identified a piece of property in Vicksburg where the facility could be built, and Bumpers said an environmental impact study has already been completed and submitted to MDOT. The commission does not own the land, and Bumpers declined to provide its exact location.

NRoute currently pays the City of Vicksburg to provide most routine maintenance and repairs on its buses. Its fleet operates from a base in the Walnut Street parking garage.

A total of $17 million is being awarded to transit authorities in the state via the $787 billion federal stimulus package.

Meanwhile, the board accepted a letter of resignation dated July 8 from Commissioner Winfield, who had been on the board since its inception in June 2006. Her appointment was not to expire until June 2011. Winfield had been the secretary of the board, responsible for keeping meeting minutes. In her resignation letter, which was addressed to her husband, Mayor Winfield, she did not provide a reason for her resignation. Winfield was not present at Wednesday’s meeting, and her letter of notice stated the resignation was to be effective immediately.

“She’s a sweet lady, and she’s been a real asset to our board,” said Commission President John Wayne Jabour.

Commissioners agreed to contact the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen and urge them to replace Winfield on the five-member board as soon as possible.

Attending Wednesday’s meeting were Bumpers, who is not a voting member of the commission,  Jabour, Gertrude Young, Mark Buys, Diane Gawronski and board attorney Landy Teller.


Contact Steve Sanoski at