Members of the Danville Area Transportation Study Technical Committee are wondering how their efforts will continue if the DATS is disbanded. DATS makes recommendations on ways state and federal funding should be spent for road projects, mass transit and the Vermilion Regional Airport. But if the Danville area loses too much population in next year’s census count the area will also lose its federal metropolitan area status.
Danville Senior Planner Tyson Terhune said the Metropolitan Planning Organization should focus on having something to take to communities if the MPO is dissolved. Sam Cole, the Danville City Engineer, noted the MPO would not exist if it was Danville only. He said some way needs to be figured out to manage the infrastructure that is currently in place.
The Metropolitan Planning Organization currently includes representatives from the City of Danville, Danville Mass Transit, Vermilion County, CRIS Healthy Aging Center, Vermilion Regional Airport, Illinois Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, the towns of Tilton, Georgetown, Westville, Catlin and Belgium…and Danville, Newell, Georgetown, and Catlin Townships.
Cole said the group needs to have some sort of strategic plan ready so they know the right decisions are being made on investing (state and federal) funds.