Mecosta County Community Corrections acquires new van for worksite transportation

READY FOR SERVICE: The new Mecosta County Community Corrections van will transport workers from the courthouse to worksites. (Pioneer photo/Dan Meloy)

READY FOR SERVICE: The new Mecosta County Community Corrections van will transport workers from the courthouse to worksites. (Pioneer photo/Dan Meloy)

BIG RAPIDS — A reliable mode of transportation is paramount to getting to work. The same holds true for Mecosta County Community Corrections workers.

After using a 2004 Dodge Caravan for the better part of a decade, the Mecosta County Board of Commissioners approved a $25,700 purchase for a 2015 GMC Savana 15-seat passenger van. The van will be used by Mecosta County Community Corrections for transportation from the county building to the day’s worksite.

“We were using an older minivan with quite a bit of problems,” said Angie Gray, director of Community Corrections. “We now have reliable transportation which will get workers to the worksite each day. People used to worry about how they are going to get to where they need to go, but now they only need to get to the county building.”

The county uses work crews for people required to complete community service hours as part of their sentences. The county hired a full-time supervisor in 2010, but Gray felt it was time for a vehicle upgrade to better suit the program’s needs.

“Our last van was a 2004, so it was time for an upgrade,” Gray said. “It’s a white, 15-passagener van, so it’s big enough for all we need. We now have reliable transportation for those workers to get to the worksite and put in their time.”

Gray said work crews are normally five to six people during the weekdays, but on the weekends the crews were large enough the Caravan could not effectively transport the crew the site.

“Sometimes, we have a crew up to 13 or 14 people, so having the extra space is nice,” Gray said. “Before we got the bigger van, people would have to drive out to the worksite and arrange transportation to get back once they got there. Now workers don’t have to make that arrangement. As long as they get to the county building (located at 400 Elm St., Big Rapids) there won’t be a problem.”

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