The Jackson County Transit Authority plans to apply for several grants that will help the department continue to provide services for county residents.

At its Sept. 3 meeting, the Board of Commissioners approved Transit Director Norma Taylor’s request to apply for two grants totaling $645,154. The grants are through the Department of Transportation and are comprised of federal, state and local funding.

The 5311 Community Transportation Program grant will cover $188,859 in administrative costs and $281,295 in costs to replace four county vehicles: “one ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible minivan, one 20-foot lift equipped light transit vehicle, two 25-feet LTVs (leisure travel vans), one lift equipped,” according to information in the application. The total includes required matching funds of 15 and 10 percent, respectively, for a total of $56,459 being provided by Jackson County.

DOT keeps track of mileage on public transportation vehicles and determines when they can or should be replaced, Taylor said.

The 5310 Elderly and Disabled Program grant will cover the county’s cost to transport elderly and disabled residents to and from medical appointments. The grant is for $175,000 and includes a required 50 percent match of $87,500 from the county.

The application is optimistic on Taylor’s part because DOT was only able to provide $36,965 for fiscal year 2020, she said.

“That ($175,000) is what we had been getting in the past,” Taylor said. “For fiscal year 2020, funding was cut, but we went ahead and applied for $175,000.”

Jackson County Transit will not know until next year if they have been approved for the requested funds.