UPDATE: Finance committee OKs money for winter maintenance

UPDATED Tuesday, May 6, 2014 --- 12:33 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Legislature's finance committee has agreed to give the Department of Transportation an additional $27.4 million to help county governments cover higher than expected winter road maintenance costs and salt purchases.

The state reimburses counties for taking care of state roads. But counties spent more than expected on plowing and melting ice this past winter. Some county highway commissioners say they've already spent their entire winter maintenance budget for this year. That money was supposed to support winter work like plowing until 2015.

Meanwhile the state was forced to purchase 150,000 extra tons of salt.

The Joint Finance Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved giving DOT $16 million to cover county maintenance and another $11.4 million to cover the salt.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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Posted Thursday, May 1, 2014 --- 1:41 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- This year's harsh winter weather is causing the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to spend more than planned on plowing, salting and other expenses.

The department next week will ask the Legislature to approve spending $27.3 million more than anticipated for expenses related to the long winter.

The state contracts with counties to help maintain state highways in addition to county roads. Bills are still coming in from counties for work plowing and salting roads this winter. The department expects it will go over its original maintenance budget by about $16 million.

The other $11.3 million comes from the additional 160,000 tons of salt purchased mid-winter to account for the snow and cold, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

The money would come from a transportation revenue surplus.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


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