The Hazelwood Parks and Recreation Division has been providing bus transportation for City residents, age 55 and over, as well as disabled individuals since 1997. Residents are picked up at the curb and taken to doctor appointments, grocery stores, banks and recreation centers. Since initiating this service 21 years ago, the City has accommodated nearly 50,000 passenger trips for senior and disabled patrons.
The City of Hazelwood currently uses two, 16-passenger shuttle buses for this transportation service. One is a 2003 vehicle and the other is a 2011 model with a wheelchair lift. This year, the City applied for a Section 5310: Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities grant to replace the 2003 bus with over 160,000 miles. It involved filling out a long, detailed application in order to be considered for the grant.
Jill Arnold, Hazelwood’s Civic Center East Facility Manager, deserves the credit for all the hard work and diligence she put into filling out the grant application and turning it in. She is the one who made it happen.
The Board of Directors for East-West Gateway Council of Governments recently notified Hazelwood that it was chosen as a grant winner. The grant provides an 80/20 split in which the Federal Government covers 80% of the vehicle cost which is $45,140. The City’s share is $11,285, for a total cost of $56,425. (This $11,285 was included in the 2018/19 fiscal year budget for the City’s share.) The new bus should be ready for service next spring.
“This grant we received will allow the City to replace the 2003 bus and continue its valued and most needed transportation service for our senior and disabled residents. We want to express our appreciation to the East-West Gateway Council of Governments for their generosity,” Hazelwood Parks and Recreation Division Superintendent Doug Littlefield said.