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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Landon Grilled on $1.65 Million Cost Overrun

By James Lomuscio

Westport’s Board of Finance took the Board of Education to task tonight over an internal auditor’s report showing the schools spent an additional $1.65 million for a mold clean up project at the Kings Highway Elementary School without informing the town’s funding bodies.

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Flashback to 2007: : Gavin Anderson, who died in 2012, and then First Selectman Gordon Joseloff survey the Kings Highway Elementary School gym where mold was found. Joseloff appointed Anderson to head a panel investigating air quality at the school. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

According to Lynn Scully, internal auditor, more than $4.52 million was spent on the project that ran from 2007 though fiscal year 2013-14, but only $2.87 million had been approved—a $1.65 million overrun the schools managed via transfers within its own budget.

The overrun was due to the fact lead was found in the school, requiring the hiring of a lead abatement contractor, plus arbitration and legal fees, Scully said. She explained the schools transferred the cost increases from its electricity and natural gas accounts to its building maintenance account.

“There was no communication with the town regarding these capital expenditures,” Scully said.

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