Call it the new normal - Illinois cities borrowing money to make ends meet while waiting on state funding to come through.
Monday night, Quincy Transit Lines went before city council looking for a short term, 600-thousand dollar loan - to be paid back when the state pays up.
Matthew Unglesbee rides Quincy City Busses every day. "I go out to the mall job hunting, I've been job hunting most everyday," he says.
And Director of Transit Marty Stegeman says the upkeep of a running bus system requires steady funding for things like gas, hourly wages, and repairs on busses.
That's why Tuesday night Stegeman asked the Quincy City Council for a short term loan - up to 600 thousand dollars as needed - from the city's general fund. The money will be for the upkeep of the transit line - but that's just until the state comes through with grant money that's promised this winter."If those grants are running behind or if we're running short on funds, we request a general loan fund, just so it keeps busses in operation," he says.
Stegeman says they've been receiving short-term loans from the city for the last several years. He says - thus far - the state has come through, but..."We've gotten nervous at times," says Stegeman.
Illinois' money problems has made short term borrowing common practice for cities like Quincy. That's why the city council approved the loan with a unanimous vote. First Ward Alderman Lexze Mann says the city needs bus transportation. "We just have to pay the bills one way or the other, and with the state and the way it is, we just have to do what we have to do," she says.
Unglesbee says he doesn't care who pays for it, he just needs the bus service to be there.
"This is my main way of getting around."
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