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      Ottumwa Transit purchases new vehicle, expands para-transit service

      Ottumwa Transit has purchased a new lift van to help with its para-transit service.

      The Ottumwa Transit Department will be putting a new lift van into service after the Ottumwa City Council approved the purchase at a recent city council meeting.

      Councilmember Jeremy Weller told KTVO Friday that the council was surprised by the amount of calls the department had been receiving requiring the use of a lift van; and that it was time for the city to purchase another vehicle.

      â??We do about one thousand calls a month for our van service through the Ottumwa Transit; and we only have three vans right now so it is not keep up with the demand. So she, (Diane Gawronski, Director of Ottumwa Transit) asked us to approve a fourth van for Ottumwa Transit, which we did Tuesday night. A thousand calls a month, that is 30 a day, and for three vans, that is quite the workload,â?? said Weller.

      Joni Keith, the city attorney for Ottumwa greed, adding that the Iowa Department of Transportation requires a certain number of calls to be denied, and that Ottumwa Transit was denying more than allowed.

      â??We currently have three vans, but the DOT regulations require that we turn down no more than a certain number of rides for this para-transit service; and we were turning down too many rides according to DOT regulations, so we really needed to get another van to be able to meet those DOT requirements,â?? said Keith.

      Keith says that the van has already been delivered to Ottumwa Transit, and that mechanics with the department are currently going over the new vehicle.

      The department was able to purchase a van that only had around one thousand miles according to Keith.