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State Auditor Identifies $3 Million In Ohio Department Of Transportation Savings

Increasing flight time for a state plane used for aerial mapping is one of a few recommendations that the auditor says could save the Ohio Department of Transportation millions.

Ohio Auditor of State Dave Yost said Wednesday that getting a state mapping plane off the ground could lead to $3 million in potential savings for the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Watchdog 10 reported on the Cessna Caravan that was supposed to be used to take the high-tech pictures and speed along road projects.

It cost taxpayers $1.7 million and then another $1.3 million for the camera.

It had taken no pictures in a more than two year period.

The project hit a snag when the Federal Aviation Administration took issue with the camera's installation. ODOT had to then pay outside contractors more than $200,000 for the work. 

In his latest report, Yost said that $335,000 could be saved annually by using the aerial mapping equipment instead of hiring from the outside. 

Yost said better management of the total fleet could lead to taxpayer savings of more than $19.4 million in 10 years. 

The recommendations followed a report that Yost released earlier this month which stated that the state owned too many planes. 

The auditor is required to conduct performance audits of at least four state agencies each biennium. ODOT is one of the four agencies currently under review. 

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Previous Story:
September 6, 2012:
Auditor Finds State Owns Too Many Airplanes