Reynolds Calls On Lawmakers To Boost DOT Winter Operations Budget

Des Moines, Iowa — Iowa’s governor is asking legislators to boost the DOT’s budget for road salt by one-point-three MILLION dollars, for NEXT winter. Lee Wilkinson is finance director for the Iowa Department of Transportation.

(As above) “The last three years our salt usage has increased and that’s primarily due to the severity of the winters,” Wilkinson says

In each of the past three winters, the DOT used about 214-thousand tons of rock salt, on average. The cost of rock salt increased 11 percent over that time frame, adding to the DOT’s dilemma. The governor is also asking legislators to ensure the agency can more quickly replace the blades on the DOT’s snow plows. Wilkinson says replacing the blades reduces wear and tear on the trucks, as well as on road surfaces.

(As above) “Next to salt, they may be the most critical item that we buy to support winter operation,” Wilkinson says. 

Wilkinson says blades haven’t been replaced as often as recommended, because managers currently search for unspent money elsewhere in the DOT budget for the purchases. The governor is suggesting legislators set aside at least 629-thousand dollars to buy new blades for DOT snow plows this summer.