Iowa House OKs transportation bill

| 3/7/2005

After a lengthy debate, the Iowa House approved a transportation-funding bill March 2 that will spend nearly $300 million for roads, railways and airports in the state.

Lawmakers voted 93-7 to send the bill to the Senate for further consideration.

Prior to the House vote, debate focused around the Iowa Department of Transportation’s plan to spend more than $9 million to move a Des Moines driver’s license station to Ankeny.

On a tie vote, a proposed amendment to force IDOT to keep a satellite station in Des Moines was defeated.

The agency plans to close the license station in rented space at Park Fair Mall and move the operation to seven acres just south of the Ankeny airport, which has already been purchased.

Supporters say it makes sense for the department to create the room it needs at the new, bigger site about 10 miles north of Des Moines for the entire motor vehicle division, which issues commercial driver’s licenses.

In an effort to pacify opponents of the plan, Mark Wandro, the state’s transportation director, has pledged to address concerns about having a satellite station in Des Moines.