Volunteer seeks to keep vets comfortableDouglas County is getting ready to buy a new van for its veterans transportation service.
Douglas County is getting ready to buy a new van for its veterans transportation service.
And that raises concerns for volunteer driver Dean Miller, who worries the veterans will have to make due with less because of tight budgets in the county.
Miller is hoping veterans who benefit from the service will attend a meeting where the future of the van will be decided.
The county sought bids for the new van, seeking bids for both the typical 15-passenger van and a smaller 12-passenger van.
Ellen Oaks of the Douglas County Veterans Office said she sought bids for both styles of vans in the event she didn't have enough money to buy the larger van. The larger van is preferred because it is heavier duty, requires less maintenance and provides veterans who have often had medical procedures or aren't feeling well a more comfortable ride.
Miller said he is hoping the county doesn’t downsize the van and he’s hoping veterans who use the service will attend the Health and Human Services Committee meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday when the panel will decide what bid to accepts.
Miller said while the van carries on average four to five veterans a day back and forth between Douglas County and the Veterans Administration Medical Center in the Twin Cities, the number fluctuates and can get crowded, particularly when medical apparatus helps fill the space.
“Typically, you don’t want to have more than 10 in the van,” Miller said of the 15-passenger vehicle.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Oaks said she still hadn't received any bids, which are due at 3 p.m. Thursday.
The county’s Health and Human Services Committee meets at 4 p.m. Thursday in the Government Center Board Room on the second floor.