The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) hosted a ribbon-cutting Monday for its new Earlville storage facility at 123 Maple Street. Representatives from the RTA board, the city of Earlville, city residents and the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) were present for the grand opening.
The brand new 60 by 80-foot steel-framed building can house six buses and three vans. RTA Board Chairperson Peter Bushmann believes that this will help progress into the future.
“We have been working out of two rented storage facilities,” Bushmann said. “This will enhance efficiency and allow for future expansion.”
The RTA believes this new garage was needed because they had dealt with some issues in the past.
“Before these facilities, we had our vehicles parked in parking lots. I can remember people siphoning gas from the buses,” said Kelley Deutmeyer, East Central Intergovernmental Association executive director.
When looking for possible sites for the new building, Deutmeyer said they quickly zoomed in on the Earlville location. There was an old building there that the city viewed as a nuisance. They wanted to find a way to again utilize that site.
Both the city of Earlville and the RTA paid more than $30,000 each, while the majority of the cost was covered by grants. In total, the new garage cost $407,000.
“It’s amazing what you can do when so many people work together,” Shirley Helmrichs, Delaware County supervisor, said. “To have this in our community is a terrific addition.”
The RTA covers Jackson, Dubuque and Delaware counties. Before the Earlville location, Jackson and Dubuque had buildings built for storage.
“I believe RTA is the transportation service needed now for this area,” Kristin Haar, Compliance and Training Officer with the Iowa DOT said.
Deutmeyer added that this project would not have been done without partnership from the Iowa DOT.
The Regional Transit Authority has several unique features that public users can utilize. They allow for reservations to be scheduled and even trips to further destinations such as Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Madison, Wis.