WSDOT accuses Kittitas County of ‘misinformation’ on snow removal dispute

Jan 14, 2022, 6:04 AM
snow removal...
The view from inside the truck as crews work to clear lanes of snow and ice on the mountain passes. (Photo courtesy of WSDOT/Twitter)
(Photo courtesy of WSDOT/Twitter)

The arguing between the state and Kittitas County over last week’s snow removal has ratcheted up, with the head of the Washington State Department of Transportation basically saying the county is lying about what happened.

Kittitas County says WSDOT refused help for clearing snow over lack of vaccine mandate

Kittitas County went public this week, criticizing WSDOT for refusing its help to clear the record snow from the mountain passes over the county’s lack of a vaccine mandate for workers. County commissioners, like Laura Osiadacz, said the state was putting its politics ahead of public safety.

“Kittitas County was fully aware that the state of Washington was not going to be happy with us, but we also truly believe that if public safety is at risk, people that are effected need to know why,” she told me.

The county said it offered help to clear the passes on Jan. 11, which was two days after Snoqualmie Pass had actually reopened. That’s something that Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar pointed out to the Senate Transportation Committee last night.

“They approached us on Tuesday, and it’s important to note that Snoqualmie Pass opened on Sunday, and their concern was, ‘Why are you hiring a contractor to do that work? We could do it,'” Millar said. “We hired a contractor to do that work because they were able to declare that their employees were vaccinated.”

WSDOT head tells legislature vaccine mandate had no impact on recent pass closures

Millar called the entire Kittitas County complaint “false information.” He said it had nothing to do with vaccine mandates or public safety, but rather was about losing a $40,000 job to a private contractor.

“This was never about the county reaching out to help clear Interstate 90 or any of the four passes that were closed,” he said.

The timeline favors the state’s recounting of events, but the war of words and accusations continues. The fighting over COVID-19 vaccine mandates and snow removal will continue until the snow stops falling.

Local News

KIRO 7 News Staff

77-year-old Bellevue woman stops home intruder in landslide neighborhood

Thieves hit the neighborhood impacted by the Bellevue landslide but didn’t get away with much, thanks to one brave 77-year-old woman.
1 day ago
national guard...
Stephanie Klein

National Guard arrives to Harborview Medical Center to help with COVID testing

A Seattle hospital official says the arrival of 10 army soldiers on Friday is a huge help.
2 days ago
End restrictions...
Nick Bowman

UW modelers: State might finally be able to end ‘major restrictions’ once omicron wave passes

Modelers at UW's Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation believe that we could be nearing the end stages of major virus-related restrictions. 
2 days ago
Long term care insurance...
Nicole Jennings

Analyst’s advice for Washingtonians who got private long-term care insurance

An Association of Washington Business analyst explains the outlook for private long-term care insurance now that the WA Cares tax will likely be delayed.
2 days ago
COVID tests...
MyNorthwest Staff

Washington households can order at-home rapid COVID tests at no cost

The state Department of Health is going live with its portal to order free at-home COVID tests that ship directly to households.
2 days ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Bobcat watches from side of road as WSDOT crews plow SR 20 near Colville

WSDOT crews had an unexpected observer while plowing snowy roads near Colville earlier this week, with a bobcat watching them work.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
WSDOT accuses Kittitas County of ‘misinformation’ on snow removal dispute