OCEAN CITY – Proactive resident Bob Melvin, 92, was presented with a $1,000 check by Councilman Brent Ashley this week to help in setting sail on his new project, MEDTRN Plus.
A couple of years ago, Melvin spearheaded changes to MEDTRN, a transit system transporting senior citizens, the handicapped and veterans to medical appointments locally and to surrounding areas.
Councilman Brent Ashley caught wind of Melvin’s new project and brought him forward to explain during Tuesday evening’s Mayor and City Council meeting.
“I’m working on MEDTRN Plus,” Melvin said. “The thing I missed is not giving the people that need transportation to Baltimore, Cambridge, and Philadelphia any free transportation.”
Melvin added the American Legion and other fraternal organizations provided funds for his initial endeavor and he is now working with them to contribute to MEDTRN Plus. He hopes the organizations will sponsor Greyhound bus trips to long distant locations for the elderly and handicapped.
“We have not done that but that will be the icing on the cake,” Melvin said. “We got a four-point program but we need the fifth to take care of these people that can’t help themself.”
Ashley said that Melvin doesn’t get enough credit for MEDTRN and his work toward MEDTRN Plus.
“I am so impressed with Mr. Melvin, he’s out there hitting the bushes all the time for funds,” he said.
Ashley said that when he ran for councilman he made a few promises, one being to give back 10 percent of city salary to the community.
“This new project with Mr. Melvin is helping the veterans … and I don’t know what better program we can have in our community then Mr. Melvin’s MEDTRN and MEDTRN Plus,” Ashley said. “I can’t think of anything better, or anybody more deserving, to me. You are what this community is all about.”
Ashley presented Melvin with a personal check for $1,000 to help get started with MEDTRN Plus.
“I’m enjoying every minute of it, this is a new experience,” Melvin said in thanking Ashley.
Melvin presented the Mayor and City Council with an update on MEDTRN a couple of weeks ago. Melvin said that 70 percent of all bus riders who are 50 years old or plus are now riding for free.
The American Legion Post 166 has donated $1,000, the Sister Cities have donated $500, the Irish American Club $100 and the Polish American Club $50.
In October, the Town of Ocean City funded the system with $2,000. At that time, Melvin said the amount could fund MEDTRN for an entire year.
“Every dollar we invest in free transportation to the handicapped comes back to the taxpayer, the city, the country, the state, and the federal government by saving money keeping our citizens healthy and off of the very expensive programs like Medicaid,” Melvin said during the presentation.