REST-AREA SPONSORS: IA DOT Creates Funding Plan
A report released earlier this year found the department of transportation will face a $215,000,000 shortfall every year for the next twenty years. The biggest cause of the shortfall is thousands of miles of aging highways and bridges in need of repair. Last month Governor Branstad announced he’ll push for an increase in the state’s gas tax to help close that gap. DOT officials say they’ve found a way to close it further – borrowing a page from pro sports team owners.
Pretty soon sponsorship won’t be limited to sports arenas like Wells Fargo Arena, and Principal Park- you will see the same concept used at Iowa rest areas.
The perk for the sponsors would theoretically be more business, and the draw for Iowa would be more money.
“Everybody is looking at ways to generate money. Budgets are tight. Anything we can do to help not only here but the primary road fund as little or as big as it may be it will help,” said Steve McMenamin, the Rest Area Administrator for the Department of Transportation.
How little or big of an impact it will make will depend on how quickly the idea catches on.
“It may take a year or it may take longer before we get a good handle, or before people say, I get it, that’s going to work,” said McMenamin.
The DOT says the idea is already gaining interest from potential sponsors, both local and corporate.