Locals testify on behalf of Dianda’s bill

LANSING – Several local officials as well as State Representative Scott Dianda, D-Calumet, testified Wednesday on behalf of legislation Dianda introduced that would give local governments first shot at used snow removal equipment no longer in operation by the state.

In December Dianda introduced House Bill 5204 which would require the Michigan Department of Transportation to first offer snow removal equipment for auction to local governments before offering it to the general public.

The bill was introduced with 51 bipartisan co-sponsoring signatures, including the entire House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

On Wednesday the legislation was taken up for testimony by the House Appropriations Committee, where Hancock City Manager Glenn Anderson, county road commission engineers, Doug Mills of Baraga County, Kevin Harju of Houghton County and Gregg Patrick of Keweenaw County all testified on its behalf.

“I am thrilled that this bill was taken up for testimony today in the House Appropriations Committee, and that several residents from my district were able to testify on its behalf via video conference,” Dianda said. “Giving the rights of first purchase on equipment that MDOT is ready to sell to local municipalities will be extremely helpful for those that are struggling to make do with modest budgets.”

In a press release, Dianda said some local governments are currently using snow plows from the 1970s, while MDOT is auctioning off its more current equipment to the public through a site called MiBid, an internet bidding site much like eBay.

“This legislation will ensure each municipality has a shot at securing reliable snow-removal equipment, and I am proud that it is moving forward in the Legislature,” Dianda said. The bill now goes to the full House.