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New Hanover County Commissioners Nix WAVE Supplemental Funding

Vince Winkel

The future of WAVE Transit dominated Monday morning’s New Hanover County Commissioners’ meeting. A month ago, the Commissioners voted to end the county contract with the transportation system on July 1, 2021.  Today there was another funding vote.

WAVE had requested supplemental funding of $57,000 to fill a gap for 2020 operations. Commissioner Woody White grilled WAVE Executive Director Albert Eby on the organization’s finances and fiscal responsibility.

“Seven years ago I was elected as a County Commissioner, and within four months of being a commissioner, WAVE transit came to us, and to the county manager, and said, we're five months into our fiscal year; we can't make payroll; we can't pay our bills; our checks are bouncing.”

White, along with Commissioners Patricia Kusek and Julia Olson-Boseman voted down the $57,000 request from WAVE. But Commissioners Jonathan Barfield and Rob Zapple voted in favor. Rob Zapple.

“The message that was given, I tried to get at with my questions, and we heard it from the other commissioners as well, is that the detailed reporting of where the current funding from the County goes to WAVE is unclear.”

That message from the Commissioners: to continue a relationship with the County, WAVE must offer clearer financial reporting. Vince Winkel, WHQR News.