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Auditor: State could save $7.4M by cutting back on mowing

The state could save as much as $7.4 million by reducing how often it mows along roadways, according to Ohio Auditor Dave Yost.

“We need to cut back by mowing less,” Yost said in a written statement issued Tuesday afternoon. “Sometimes, it’s the simplest solutions that have the greatest impact.”

The Ohio Department of Transportation completed four “complete vegetation mowing cycles” in 2010 and 2011, state auditors found. Auditors compared this to ten similar states and found Ohio could instead mow three times a year, saving $4.4 million while still maintaining acceptable roadway conditions, according to the release.

Yost said ODOT could save another $3 million by cutting another mowing cycle and adopting an “integrated vegetation management system” — a mix of mowing, tree and brush removal and herbicidal spraying.

The findings were part of Yost’s ongoing performance audit of ODOT and other state agencies.

ODOT will consider Yost’s recommendations, spokesman Steve Faulkner said in an email.

“ODOT certainly appreciates the Auditor of State’s recommendations and will seek to balance these cost-cutting ideas while striving to maintain the same great level of service ODOT provides to the traveling public,” Faulkner said.

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