SCAT opened its doors to the public Tuesday afternoon with its grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the organization's new building.
"There's been a few obstacles and curves, potholes and even detours on our journey getting this far," board president for Seneca County Agency Transportation Denise Manning said. "With the joy that one feels when you turn that final curve and you're finally pulling into mom and dad's house on Thanksgiving, that's where we feel like we're at today."
Lee Martin, executive director of Developmental and Institutional Relations at Heidelberg University, thanked the Ohio Department of Transportation for its help and partnership with SCAT over the years.
During the ceremony, Martin highlighted some of SCAT's history.
"I honestly can say I was there at the inception of the effort that later became the transportation program we now today call SCAT," he said. "The reason I bring this up is simply for one reason - because it underlines such a great example of community action - what people working together can accomplish."
Brett Harris, ODOT compliance officer, spoke briefly about how the project was funded.
Harris said the new building was a result of the American Reinvestment Act of 2009 stimulus package.
He said ODOT applied for $29.8 million, and with that funding it helped build six facilities similar to the new SCAT building.
The county received more than $2 million for this project.
Commissioner Jeff Wagner spoke briefly on behalf of the current county commissioners, including Holly Stacy and Fred Zoeller, and the previous board, which included Ben Nutter and Dave Sauber.
"SCAT does a lot for our community, and this new facility will help them continue in that tradition of meeting the transportation needs of Seneca County," Wagner said.
John Detwiler, president and CEO of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services, thanked the SCAT staff and everyone involved in the project "for their vision and perseverance in seeing this project through."
"We are truly blessed to have this organization in our community, and we thank you for the service you provide," Detwiler said.
SCAT is expected to move its operations into the new building in about two weeks, SCAT Director Larry Baxa said.
He said there are still some inspections that need to take place before the organization can move in.