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      Agency celebrates new facility with a luau

      It is an organization that makes sure thousands of people in Missouri get to work, doctor appointments, the grocery store ... basically anywhere they need to go. On Wednesday, dozens of Heartland residents celebrated the completion of the new OATS facility in Macon at 3006 Jims Road with a luau theme celebration.

      The $2.65 million building received funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Missouri Department of Transportation Multi Modal Director Michelle Teel said the department partnered with the regional office to make sure the funds were administered correctly and the project was built on time and under budget.â??More importantly it's the local support that makes this project so important,â?? Teel said. â??The volunteers at OATS, the drivers, the staff so many donations is what makes OATS so strong. I'm just really proud to be a Missourian and have OATS, because we are the largest rural transit provider in the country.â??The organization serves 16 counties in northeast Missouri. The new facility has a training space, break room, bus wash and secure parking for the buses.â??It is three times the size we were housed in before,â?? said OATS Northeast Regional Director Sheree Webb. â??We had outgrown the first office. When it was built, we had two employees and we now have 10.â??

      OATS, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit corporation that provides specialized transportation in 87 Missouri counties for the rural general public.