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Ride With Us Bus rider numbers are low

The Pine River City Council heard from Val Kuschel, transit manager, that the Ride With Us Bus is seeing low numbers.

Kuschel said at the March 12 city council meeting that the recent cuts to service are hurting the bus service, as ridership was down 45 percent in February compared to 2012.

Though riders per day are up from 37 to 39, the small rise is not making up for the riders lost in cutting service to three days a week. Additionally, expenses are up because of driver training and bus maintenance.

Kuschel said that Mann Lake Ltd, in Hackensack, is interested in using the service for employee transport. She planned to meet with representatives to explore options. Backus may also be interested in a service, Kuschel said, “as long as we don’t take service from Pine River citizens.”

Public safety

Pine River Police Chief Paul Sand reported 91 calls in February, including 28 traffic, two DUIs, five thefts and 10 medical calls.

Sand also reported that the department now has four reserve officers.

In other business March 12, the council:

• Rescinded an ordinance adopted last month relating to criminal history background checks for applicants for city employment and city licenses. The ordinance was rescinded because of errors, and a corrected ordinance was passed.

• Decided to have clean-up day once again in May. A date for the event was not decided as of March 12.

• Learned that two brochures were developed for the implementation stage of the wellhead protection program, and two more brochures were ordered from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). According to the MDH, the program is a way to protect drinking water by managing sources of contamination.