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Bus service steered in right direction

RVT building Oct. 23, 2021. DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette

River Valley Transit management has promised to repair past indiscretions that auditors and investigators believe may have been committed in a prior administration and follow through on recommendations by the state Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to keep the bus and tourism service running strong.

Audits and other evidence is being received in conjunction with a criminal investigation done by state Attorney General Josh Shapiro regarding prior administration River Valley Transit management and those over affiliated entities regarding millions of dollars in state and federal grant money.

Continued steps to ensure that proper and legal course has been taken by the current bus service management, with City Council approving Thursday the $35,000 audit by RKL of River Valley Transit for the 2020 and 2021 years as recommended by the new city transit oversight committee.

RKL auditors said the numbers shown in the past audit indicated apparent “fraud and noncompliance” with state law.

A transit consultant will work closely with River Valley Transit to ensure legal and proper follow-through on compliance issues and collaboration with the state Department of Transportation (PennDOT) regulations.

From this will come a strategic plan and intergovernmental support so that what is brought in through grants can be quantified and that co-mingling of grant funds and other city dollars does not happen again. Also, various job roles and responsibilities will be outlined, including a controller at River Valley Transit.

On Feb. 17, a public hearing at 7 p. m. will take place pursuant to the possible formation of an authority to have further oversight of River Valley Transit.

Council President Adam Yoder said the council and administration have confidence in this auditing firm moving forward.

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