The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) last week issued a request for information (RFI) seeking input on an upcoming proposal to commercialize non-interstate rest areas across the state.
In its RFI, ODOT said it would seek to construct service plazas at 26 non-interstate rest areas to provide fuel, food, lodging and other travel-related services. ODOT plans to have all of the plazas developed, financed and operated through a lease agreement.
In an interview with the "Cleveland Plain Dealer," NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings said ODOT's proposal to construct commercial rest areas along non-interstate routes represents yet another ill-conceived attempt by the state to compete with small-town businesses, threatening jobs and local tax dollars, as a way to fix state budget shortfalls.
"State financial budget problems are not a burden that should be transferred to local business owners and local communities," Mullings said. "Yet this is exactly what the Ohio Department of Transportation is planning to do."
This article originally ran in NATSO News Weekly (NNW), NATSO's member only weekly electronic newsletter. NNW is packed with the latest updates on government and business issues affecting the truckstop and travel plaza industry.
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