(LFC Comments: We received an email from a Lake County lobbyist about LakeTran spending $10 million on their headquarters. Rather than jumping to conclusions, we decided to reach out to Mr. Ben Capelle, CEO of LakeTran, and ask what is going on regarding their building expansion plans.)
Here is the response we received from Mr. Capelle:
“We have been discussing the need to expand our building, the dollar amount associated with it has not be set yet. Myself and our Board discussed the need to expand the building if we were going to add more service due to space restrictions.
The need is being driven by a lack of space in three primary areas, Dial-a-Ride bus storage, vehicle maintenance (we have 5 maintenance bays and we need 7 to accommodate expanded Dial-a-Ride operations) and a small amount of office space for our operations folks (customer service, scheduling, dispatching, etc.)
Our plans to fix Dial-a-Ride call for approximately 30 more Dial-a-Ride buses and we currently only have space for 3, we are not changing the fleet sizes of our Local Fixed Route buses or our Commuter Express buses. We would also due some other minor work to the building at the same time, replacing some 30 year old HVAC units, repairing some windows and doors, etc.
We paid a firm to look at our building in regards to the things I mentioned above and they came back with a construction budget of 9.3 million. That was only a recommendation, we have not decided how much we would set a budget at, it will almost certainly be lower.
Much of the project would be paid for by grant dollars from various sources, but we are not 100% sure what those numbers are yet which is why we do not currently have a final budget number. Ultimately we will fund most of the project with grant dollars and the local match will come from our reserves, so that it will not impact the services we are adding as a result of the levy.”
Ben Capelle | CEO