LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. -- Members of the Liberty Lake City Council said they could not believe they were charged almost $90,000 by the Washington State Department of Transportation.
The charge was incurred when the city used extra traffic flaggers during the Harvard Road roundabout construction project. The project was completed in October and was originally supposed to cost the City $670,000. The charge increased that cost to nearly $800,000.
Council Member Cris Kaminskas said the increased charge seemed to come out of nowhere.
“What’s frustrating to us as council members is that information not getting communicated to us,” said Kaminskas. “We were given the estimate about 18,000 cars a day go through there a day and I don't think that's a surprise to anybody, but I think it may have been a surprise how few people avoided the area during construction...”
Spokespeople with WSDOT and Winkler Construction, the builder on the project, told KREM 2 News they communicated with the City every step of the way.
During last Tuesday's City Council meeting, it was discovered WSDOT did, in fact, communicate the additional costs to City staff members but that information was reportedly never passed on to council members.
Kaminskas said she did not believe the revelation removed blame from WSDOT.
“No, I think it's a joint responsibility all the way around,” Kaminskas said. “Maybe the council didn't ask enough questions. Maybe [WSDOT] didn't communicate all the things we needed...but just like in any entity you learn lessons along the way.”
The money used to fund the Harvard roundabout project came from State funds, grant money, and building impact fees.
As of Thursday, there were no plans in the works to sue the State to try recouping the extra costs for the project.