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MnDOT changing the way it prepares for winter after prison program shuts down

A new plan is in the works.

Posted: Oct. 2, 2018 7:58 AM
Updated: Oct. 2, 2018 7:59 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Minnesota Department of Transportation is figuring out how it will prepare its snow plow trucks for winter after a program letting prison inmates do the work shuts down.

“How do we, you know, do the most efficient way, how do we best spend our dollars, those are kind of the discussions happening now,” Michael Dougherty with MnDOT District 6 said.

Dougherty said prison inmates used to prepare the snow plow trucks for winter but Minnesota Department of Corrections shut down the program. Dougherty said this could be because of the recent murder of a state corrections officer in July.

While the program gives prisoners the opportunity to work and gain skills, MnDOT is looking for the silver lining, taking the news as a chance to assess how they operate and prepare for winter. 

"It is just a good time to do a 360 review of whats best and how do we make sure it's a process that can look forward into the future," Dougherty said. 

MnDOT is putting together some of the snow plow trucks themselves but may also look to contract outside help in the future. 

Drivers won't see too much of an impact on the roard, Dougherty assures all 102 plows will be out, clearing the roads in the region this winter. 

KIMT reached out to Minnesota Department of Corrections to learn more about the shutting down of the metal fabrication program but did not hear back. 

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