MDOT replies to Dianda letter about fuel tax bill

LANSING — A fuel tax bill will likely be the biggest issue that will come up in the lame-duck Michigan House session that began today. The extra revenue from the fuel tax would be earmarked for roads.

With that in mind, the director of MDOT has issued a public reply to a U.P. state lawmaker who said he’d probably oppose the bill.

MDOT director Kirk Steudle has said to State Representative Scott Dianda of Calumet that new investments in Michigan’s roads are the only way to do something about their poor condition. According to the Federal Highway Administration, Michigan is dead last among the 50 states in the amount it spends on roads per licensed driver.

Dianda also said last week that MDOT maintains a fleet of planes for its employees to use while, at the same time, having trouble keeping western U.P. highways free of snow and ice.

MDOT replies that its use of state equipment reflects careful watching of its expenses. The department also says it’s unaware of any instances where it’s refusing to allow plowing in U.P. communities.

Anyone interested in reading Steudle’s letter can find it here: MDOT Dianda Response.doc