Oregon legislators are asking the Oregon Department of Transportation to maintain the roads this winter as they would any other year, with the promise of making sure it’s paid for later.
ODOT warned earlier this year that budget cuts will mean some secondary highways, like the one from Bend to Mt. Bachelor, won’t get as much plow or sanding attention as in years past. ODOT has cited reduced gas tax revenues as part of the problem.
Sen. Elizabeth Steiner, D-Portland, is among legislators who sent a letter to Gov. Tina Kotek, committing money to ODOT in the next legislative session so that roads can be maintained now.
“We are committing to provide the funding back funding. In the meantime, they can make it up from other parts of their budget and then we’ll backfill it,” Steiner told Central Oregon Daily.
ODOT said, in response, it will start making changes as soon as it gets confirmation from the legislature or from Kotek that money is available. That includes authorizing overtime for crews to plow roads and do other winter maintenance.