Letter to the Editor: Use the Unassigned Fund Balance to Pay for Door 2 Door

Recent news has focused attention on transportation in our county and the risk that we may lose a service provided through the Door County Department of Health and Human Services. Door2Door (D2D) has been through several transitions in attempting to provide ridership throughout the county. Northern Door did not take advantage of it when stationed here. 80+% of the ridership is in or around Sturgeon Bay, but DHHS seems opposed to keeping this service, which includes handicapped accessible vans, citing the rising costs.

Public comment time was allocated at a County Board of Supervisors meeting, and supervisors have received input from constituents about the need to save this service. Providing rides to the hospital, grocery shopping, places of employment, doctor appointments, etc is a justifiable service to a community without any other publicly funded transportation. There is no city bus that the public can access if they have no other means of getting around. There is no Sturgeon Bay department of public transportation or funding being provided by the city.

In reviewing the Door County Finance Committee minutes and budgets from February of this year, there is a greater than $11 million, yes, MILLION dollar unassigned fund balance. Noted in the documents, “The County’s current unassigned fund balance of $11,988,572.37 represents approximately 20.51869% of its governmental funds budgeted expenditures. This level of funding is above the 12-15% reserve funding levels set forth in Resolution 72-03 adopted August 26, 2003.”

The options presented by County Administrator, Ken Pabich, at the County Board meeting were 3: 1. Provide the service as is with an increased cost of $164,000 for 2020; 2. Eliminate the service and only use the ADRC bus (which cannot pick up the 42,000 rides); or 3. Cut the hours by more than half, and limit the service to 3 miles in/around Sturgeon Bay.

Here is the unanswered question: With that much money sitting in an unassigned fund, why is there talk about elimination of this needed service? $164,000 seems like a VERY small amount to provide for a human service need.

Kathy Wagner

Sister Bay, Wisconsin