Residents in Orillia who rely on taking the bus to and from the Orillia Square Mall will be able to do so until at least April 2020.
According to a news release issued by the city, at a meeting on Monday, Orillia councillors approved the continuation of Orillia Transit service to the mall, which is located outside of the city limits, for another year.
City officials say the decision was made after the Township of Severn committed one year of funding to the operating costs of the service.
The City says the total cost of running transit service to Orillia Square Mall is $47,000, which was historically paid for by the mall annually.
Now, the cost will be split between the Township of Severn, the City of Orillia and the mall.
According to the release, the Township of Severn will pay $15,000, the city of Orillia will pay $17,500 and the mall will pay $15,000.
“A partnership between the City, Severn and the mall to fund this service demonstrates good partnerships at work and I commend our neighbours for their contribution,” Orillia Mayor Steve Clarke, said in the release.
“Orillia council is pleased transit service to the mall will continue to run. I believe Orillia taxpayers should not be on the hook to pay completely for service that goes outside of the City. We will continue to negotiate for long-term stability of the service.”
According to the City, council authorized staff to continue to work with the mall’s management company, Bentall Kennedy Limited, and the Township of Severn to re-negotiate the transit services agreement to the Orillia Square Mall beyond April 2020.
City officials say those negotiations will be considered during the 2020 budget.