Transit District Demands Payment From County

The board that oversees the Citrus Connection is in a financial dispute with Polk County government that the transit system says could jeopardize its financial stability. The Lakeland Area Mass Transit District board is demanding that the county pay an overdue $382,000 bill within 15 days. County officials have withheld payment because they want the transit district to stop billing for its accrued pension liability under the state retirement system. While the head of the Citrus Connection says they’ll find a way to continue bus service to the county for now, the agency’s finance director says state and federal grants will be jeopardized without the matching funds.