BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Transportation Department has spent nearly $70,000 on groundbreaking ceremonies since June to help the governor and other leaders mark the start of new highway projects around the state.
The price tag has rattled some state lawmakers who say the agency must become more efficient.
The Idaho Statesman reports a single ceremony planned by a private company celebrating the Vista Road interchange project in Boise cost more than $24,000. But four other events planned in-house totaled $10,000.
Agency officials say they hired the company because department staff was tied up on other projects.
A spokesman for Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter says the groundbreaking events are important for showing the public how tax dollars are creating jobs and improving infrastructure.
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