On June 12, OATS held an Open House to celebrate the completion of its new Macon facility which houses the Northeast
Lincoln County riders (no certain order) Steve Sickler, Debra Sickler, LeAnna Bueneman, Becky Houston, Alice Foster, Shirley Dickmeyer, Rudy McCann and Mary Moore with driver Rebecca Klippel enjoyed the festivities.
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.
Macon Mayor Dale 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.” OATS Board President Nolan 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 Administration (FTA) and MoDOT provide the some of the support enabling us to carry out our mission.”
In his comments, Mokhtee Ahmad, Region VII Administrator for FTA, 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.” Michelle Teel, MoDot Director, 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.”
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 Lincoln. The NE 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. More information about OATS, Inc., please visit their website at www.oatstransit.org.