Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The false case of closing Virginia's rest areas?

Remember last year when then-Gov. Tim Kaine (D), now head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), shuttered up many of Virginia's rest areas on the supposition it was needed to save money that the state did not have?

Then the VDOT audit requested by Gov. Bob McDonnell showed at least $614 million in VDOT funds and led to the Governor's famous line: “I’d say there’s been money sitting in accounts while people have been sitting in traffic."

The Daily Progress opined about this issue in Tuesday's paper:
Failing to keep track of funding and to use it most efficiently for the taxpayers is a serious accusation. And although we can understand how VDOT would take a conservative approach during a period of funding cuts, that doesn’t explain the curious case of the Virginia rest areas. [emphasis added]

Last summer Mr. Kaine ordered 18 interstate rest areas closed in order to save $9 million in VDOT’s budget. It was a very unpopular move, both with motorists and with tourist leaders.

The closures were sold as a money-saving necessity. Now it is shown that there was indeed sufficient money in the coffers to keep the rest stops open.
Hmm.... Does this help make the case that it was political?

1 comment:

Bob K. said...

Isn't it even worse than that. They must have spent a few million to winterize, remove fixtures, board up windows, close, create severance packages for staff, remove signs, change mileages on remaining signs, paint lines, build gates, etc. Then it cost about 3 million to 'restore' the rest areas.

Somewhere in my mind is the thought that Kaine merely created a break-even situation while angering the travelling public.