The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

February 14, 2013

New rules needed at Ottumwa Transit

Director tackles ridership, advisory board, paratransit rules

OTTUMWA — Ottumwa Transit’s new director is diving right into the position, establishing new ridership rules and clarifying transparency issues.

At Ottumwa Transit’s advisory board meeting on Wednesday, its director, Dave Silverio, said he has backtracked through some paperwork from previous director Diane Gawronski and found a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Ottumwa Transit and Ottumwa Job Corps establishing transit services, which were approved at the time as a legal charter by the Iowa Department of Transportation.

The IDOT did say, though, that eventually Ottumwa Transit needs to establish a contract.

“I don’t believe it was properly done,” Silverio said of the MOU that was signed in August 2012.

The MOU states that Ottumwa Transit will provide daily transportation to and from the center from 7:25 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. Monday through Friday with pick-up and drop-off every hour.

Board member Shannon Addison said in the future, MOUs should be taken to the board first for discussion, then to the council for approval, since all board members were unaware that this MOU had taken place.

“Technically, an MOU has to be taken to the advisory board for recommendation to the City Council for approval because it is construed as a contract,” Addison said.

Addison questioned why Ottumwa Transit was providing transportation services to the Job Corps center at all when the center itself runs three regular buses, two larger buses, four vans and four to five vehicles.

Silverio said as the number of students at Job Corps grew, the increase was becoming too cumbersome for their drivers.

“They had two choices,” Silverio said. “Hire their own driver and transport their own kids, or we stepped in because we did not want to lose those ridership numbers.”

In January, the airport bus carried 3,576 riders (17 percent of transit’s total ridership count in January), at least half of which were Job Corps students, Silverio said.

“Moving forward, these things need to go through the advisory committee, then the council,” Silverio said. “I don’t profess to have the knowledge of all DOT and federal specifications, so why would I enter into a contract all on my own?

“The idea, method and effort [Gawronski] went through to nail down that business was great, and the intentions were perfect. But the legalities of it need addressed.”

Addison said this is why advisory boards should exist and not be “abolished,” as was suggested by Councilman Jeremy Weller at the most recent City Council meeting.

“Instead of abolishing all boards, I feel it’s advisable for advisory boards to be aware of things like this because we can possibly provide information that might be helpful for things like this, that way nobody gets their knickers in a wad,” Addison said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Bill OK'd for data recovery OTTUMWA — Almost a month ago, the city’s Engineering Department’s server failed. After receiving and installing the necessary parts, attempts to restart the server failed, resulting in a drive being shipped to Data Recovery Services in St. Louis in h

    July 21, 2014

  • Man killed in Wapello County BLOOMFIELD — A man was discovered dead Monday of a gunshot wound in rural Wapello County. However, no further danger related to the shooting is expected. Authorities aren't giving full details of the incident, but a press release said that at 1:21 a.

    July 21, 2014

  • Forensic scientist: Residue doesn't determine who fired gun DAVENPORT — A forensic scientist who testified today in the trial of a Wapello County man accused of murdering his wife said that gun residue should be collected if possible. Seth Techel, 23, is on trial in Scott County, Davenport. He faces charges o

    July 21, 2014

  • Welding academy at Cardinal becomes reality ELDON — Many high school seniors find themselves making the decision to pursue college coursework or enter the work force upon graduation. A new program at Cardinal High School (CHS) eliminates this decision by offering courses that will allow studen

    July 21, 2014

  • 0722 stick horse color photo -L -T -M 4-H Expo encourages creatitivy OTTUMWA — Typically during the 4-H Expo, horses are kept at the horse arena in Ottumwa Park, but Saturday kids galloped around Bridge View Center on homemade stick horses. Children at the expo spent Saturday morning creating their own cowboy vest and

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Water requires extra caution OTTUMWA — Two area drowning deaths in two weeks have authorities focused on the topic of water safety. The Ottumwa Fire Department's Master Firefighter Bill Keith has trained with watercraft and performed multiple river rescues. This week, he said, h

    July 16, 2014

  • Plea settles kidnapping case OTTUMWA — An Ottumwa man originally charged with kidnapping will not serve prison time after a plea bargain to a lesser charge. Adem Anota received a sentence of one year in jail with credit for time served and the balance suspended after pleading gu

    July 16, 2014

  • Gunshot victim found dead BLOOMFIELD — A man was found dead of a gunshot wound in rural Wapello County. However, no further danger related to the shooting is expected. Though authorities aren't giving full details of the incident, a press release said at 1:21 a.m. Monday the

    July 21, 2014

  • NEST program educates parents OTTUMWA — With any new job, you typically go through a training period that prepares you for the future. The Wapello County Iowa State Extension Office is offering both first-time and experienced parents helpful training through its NEST program. NES

    July 21, 2014

  • 0722 OTT hottest day map Heat arrives, but won't linger OTTUMWA — As hot as Monday and Tuesday seem, it’s not really a surprise. This is July, after all. A heat advisory went into effect at noon Monday and will remain in effect until 7 p.m. Tuesday. Forecasters think a front Tuesday night will bring much

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Photo reprints