JACKSON, Mo. -- The Cape Girardeau County Commission agreed Thursday to make changes in the county's Transit Authority board, a move that could pave the way for the authority to take over operation of a local transportation service.
The authority would take over operation of the not-for-profit Cape County Transit Inc. of Jackson, which operates a fleet of vans that provides low-cost public transportation .
The commissioners voted to appoint two members of the board of directors of Cape County Transit Inc. to the Cape Girardeau County Transit Authority over the next year.
The authority will remain a five-member board. The first appointment will occur when the merger agreement is signed and the second by June 30.
Joe Smith of Cape County Transit Inc. will be named to the board, replacing the expired term of Jean Kurre.
The second appointment will come when Roland Sander's term on the transit authority expires next year.
The two transit boards have been negotiating a merger since March. An agreement could be finalized later this month.
Presiding Commissioner Gerald Jones said the county commission expects the authority, led by chairman Doug Richards, to manage the transit service.
The commission last year created the transit authority to better coordinate and improve transportation services in the county.
Jones said the commission didn't initially plan for the authority to take over an existing transit service, but the merger is crucial for the authority to receive federal and state money.
"You have to provide services to get any funding," Jones said.