Trumbull County's commissioners - Frank Fuda, Paul Heltzel and Dan Polivka - have a hefty decision to make about the future of public transportation in Trumbull County.
Thousands of elderly and other residents depend on the reliable transportation provided by the county's Office of Elderly Affairs and Niles-Trumbull Transit System (NiTTS) for doctor's appointments, getting to work, getting to places that provide worker training and even the Eastwood Mall, grocery store or beauty parlor.
Niles Mayor Ralph Infante put commissioners on notice in February with his decision to stop the city's oversight of NiTTS at the end of the year due to cost concerns.
Commissioners have expressed reluctance of assuming control of the system for the same reason Infante is getting out: Cost.
That makes sense.
When NiTTS was created in 2003, it cost $620,000 a year to run. Today, it's about $1.7 million, money that comes from the city's budget first and then is repaid through different funding sources.
That coupled with an already lean county budget makes assuming control of the status quo a difficult pill for commissioners to swallow.
Commissioners have said they are considering which direction to take and at this point, there are just two proposals on the table.
And they couldn't be more radically different or self-preserving.
One expands elderly affairs and cuts out Community Bus Services, NiTTS' turn-key operator since the beginning.
It calls for commissioners to consolidate public transportation under elderly affairs, and new vehicles would be bought to run in the revamped system.
How the system would be funded would be changed too, which supporters argue frees up local cash to run the system and means less local dollars are needed to lure federal funds for items like vehicles, buildings and maintenance equipment.
The other expands CBS and cuts out elderly affairs.
Under it, the rides elderly affairs gives and the money it receives for transportation would be assumed by NiTTS. A five- year, one-half mill levy would be sought in November to initially fund the system and if it gets voter approval, then commissioners would take over.
In addition, elderly affairs drivers would be hired by CBS.
If a solution isn't found and quickly ( Aug. 10 is the filing deadline for the fall election, remember the levy recommendation) - whether it be either of the two hard proposals, a combination thereof or some other way, shape or form - commissioners risk some people going without transportation.
Less transportation for those who need it the most is something that shouldn't be allowed.
But as money makes the world go 'round, money also makes wheels on the bus go 'round.