The Iowa Department of Transportation began the process of paring back its staff Tuesday. The funds that pay for the operation of the department fell significantly below estimates. Nancy Richardson, the D-O-T’s Director of Operations and Finance, presented the new budget to the Transportation Commission Tuesday.Richardson says the budget for the 2003 fiscal year will be down 13-point-three million dollars. Richardson says the cut reflects previously announced changes that will eventually cut 10-percent of the D-O-T staff.That adds up to the elimination of 400 positions, the elimination of some facilities and downsizing the vehicle fleet. Richardson says they hope to be able to cut a majority of the positions through attrition.Richardson says the cuts won’t hurt the services provided to the public, as they’ve “committed to maintaining our core services.” She says they’re just trying to find cheaper ways of doing things like plowing snow.The new budget would take effect in July of 2002.
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