Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Government Doesn't Usually Act This Way"

"Government doesn't usually act this way." -- Jim Manis, Gambrill Gardens

Thanks to the quick-thinking of some MoDOT employees, a senior independent living facility in the St. Louis area will have a happier Thanksgiving.

When Gambrill Gardens' 24-passenger transit vehicle was deemed unsafe and taken off the road, the staff sent out a plea for help. Sure, there's a usual process of applying for grant assistance, but that would take time, and residents needed the transportation now.

Cue MoDOT. Employees in the multimodal operation's unit of MoDOT used some quick-thinking and offered Gambrill Gardens a way to purchase an older, but still useful, vehicle. The vehicle was part of a group of rural and small urban transit vehicles that had been replaced with federal recovery act funds.  Most of the vehicles replaced have 200,000-300,000 miles and are no longer suitable for use.  However, a few still have some useful life, and Gambrill Gardens was happy to put one of these to use.

The turnaround time from the request? Only two weeks.

"Government doesn't usually act this way," said Jim Manis with Gambrill Gardens. "It is not the new vehicle we eventually would like to get, but it really helped us get through this emergency."

Photo above (left to right): Shirley Tarwater, MoDOT multimodal operations transit employee, Jim Manis, Gambrill Gardens director of fun development, Chris Brundin, MoDOT multimodal operations transit employee, Diedre Rombach, Gambrill Gardens director of activity and Mike Cicchese, Gambrill Gardens executive director, show off the 24-passenger transit vehicle that solved Gambrill Gardens' transportation need.