On June 12, OATS held an open house to celebrate the completion of its new Macon facility at 3006 Jims Road, which houses the northeast regional offices.
A crowd of over 200 people was in attendance. Numerous representatives of federal, state, and local agencies and legislative officials were present at the ceremony.
Speakers for the event included Dale Bagley, mayor of Macon; Denise Bennett, director of Macon County Economic Development; Sharon Scott, director of Macon Chamber of Commerce; Mokhtee Ahmad, regional administrator, FTA Region VII; Michelle Teel, MoDOT Multimodal Operations director; Nolan McNeill, OATS board president, Dorothy Yeager, OATS executive director and Sheree Webb, OATS Northeast Regional director. Sarah Barfield-Graff from U. S. Senator Roy Blunt’s office was also in attendance.
Mayor Bagley opened the ceremony welcoming OATS to Macon, “It’s great to have this facility and the service that it provides to our community, which is the most important thing.”
McNeil thanked the riders who were in attendance, “You are the reason for OATS’ existence. We are glad you can stay at home, and happy we can help meet your needs that allow you to live independently. The Federal Transit Administation (FTA) and MoDOT provide the some of the support enabling us to carry out our mission.”
In his comments, Ahmad noted the words on the Macon water tower he read as he headed into town: Macon – A Wise Choice. “It was a wise choice to build a facility here, and I’m glad we were able to make it happen.”
Teel added, “The entire team worked tirelessly to make sure we used your tax dollars wisely. OATS is the largest service like this in the entire country. We will continue to work side by side with OATS to make sure transportation needs are met.”
Funds to build the new Macon facility were provided by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 for a total project cost of $2.65 million.
The OATS Northeast Region office oversees 16 counties in Missouri including Adair, Clark, Knox, Lewis, Lincoln, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Montgomery, Pike, Ralls, Randolph, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby and Warren. The Northeast Region has 12 office staff in offices in Macon, Kirksville and Troy; 98 drivers; 235 volunteers and 135 vehicles.
OATS, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit corporation providing specialized transportation in 87 Missouri counties for the rural general public, including senior citizens and people with disabilities. Governed by a 15-member board of directors, the organization has a staff of over 750 employees and a fleet of 800 vehicles statewide.
The home office is located in Columbia with seven regional offices located throughout the state. For more information about OATS, Inc., please visit their website at www.oatstransit.org.