Though it’s just weeks removed from a financial setback with the state, the Cache Valley’s transit system is moving forward with a $56 million project to expand its services for the growing area.
Officials from throughout Cache County gathered Monday morning in North Logan to break ground on the new administration and maintenance facility for Cache Valley Transit District (CVTD), a project almost 13 years in the making. The roughly 110,000-square-foot building will be situated on nine acres just to the east of the Logan-Cache Airport.
Todd Beutler, CEO and general manager of the CVTD, which is not a part of the Utah Transit Authority system, said the district bought the plot of land in 2010. If everything goes to plan, the new facility could be up and running by November 2024.
“Some of our staff had asked the question, ‘Are we ever really going to do this?’ And that’s understandable, given how long it’s taken us, but we appreciate that we’re here now,” Beutler said Monday during the groundbreaking ceremony.
Beutler was one of the CVTD representatives who went before a legislative subcommittee in January and asked the state for additional funds to push the project past the finish line. The district asked for $8 million in one-time gap funding, which would bridge a funding shortfall created by inflation over the past two years. That amount would make up about 14% of the project’s overall costs, according to a presentation CVTD gave to state lawmakers.
The Legislature did not grant the funding request, but the district is still moving ahead with its plans. One reason for the urgency is much of the district’s funding comes from federal grants, which need to be used by the end of this year.
“Obviously, that (denial) hurts, and so we’ll have to figure that out,” Beutler said Monday. “We’ll find a solution somehow.”
He added the project will take time to complete, and the district will likely go back to the Legislature in 2024 to request the funds once more.
The administration and maintenance facility will also allow the transit district to grow, as Beutler said they have outgrown their current building. CVTD projects its ridership could grow up to 245% by 2050, which would total around 2.5 million trips per year.
When the additional space that comes with the new facility, CVTD will be able to have a greater ability to use renewable resources, including electric buses. He said the Cache Valley has many of the same problems as the Salt Lake Valley, as congestion and air quality keep rearing their heads in the area.
“Having transit as an option for folks really helps alleviate some of those things,” Beutler said.