Lawmakers want audit of spending on newest ferries

  • By Jerry Cornfield
  • Monday, January 21, 2013 4:23pm
  • Local News

More than a dozen lawmakers today called for a state audit to determine the full cost of designing, building and maintaining the three newest vessels in the Washington State Ferries fleet.

Fifteen lawmakers signed a letter to State Auditor Troy Kelley asking him to conduct the audit of “the true post-delivery cost of design and construction decisions” for the 64-car ferries used on the route between Coupeville and Port Townsend.

Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, crafted the letter and garnered signatures from 11 House members and three senators. The group includes five Republicans and 10 Democrats, all from legislative districts with ferry service.

“We need a full audit that takes into consideration higher than expected post-delivery costs and problems requiring mitigation,” Smith said in a statement. “The signatures on the request letter not only show strong, bipartisan support for our ferry system, but that legislators in the Puget Sound want complete and transparent answers to the concerns brought to the attention of Washington State Ferries.”

She said the request is a natural follow-up to an audit released Jan. 3 by Kelley’s predecessor, Brian Sonntag. Kelley could not be reached for comment on the letter.

That analysis found Washington State Ferries pays more to build its boats primarily because of laws restricting competitive bidding and practices limiting its control on key elements of the contracts.

The 78-page performance audit, which cost $1.15 million and took roughly a year for the State Auditor’s Office to complete, focused on the costs accrued up to delivery of boats and not beyond.

A public hearing on the audit will be held Wednesday by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee.

More in Local News

Mill Creek councilman no longer lives in city, panel finds

The Canvassing Board determined Sean Kelly is not eligible to vote there.

A Democrat and ex-Republican team up to end two-party politics

Brian Baird and Chris Vance unveil a new organization called Washington Independents.

The beavers weren’t happy, either, about Mill Creek flooding

A tree fell on their dam, sending a rush of water into a neighborhood near Jackson High School.

Stranger offered candy to student walking home from school

The Granite Falls School District is warning families about… Continue reading

Coming together as family

Special-needs students and teachers at the Transition Center cooked up a Thanksgiving feast.

Lynnwood’s property tax promise to homeowners sort of true

They were told consolidation of fire departments would save, but new rates likely will be more.

Woman who died in 5-car crash identified

A car driven by Susan E. Sill rear-ended another vehicle Wednesday on Smokey Point Boulevard.

Man convicted of 4 counts of wire fraud, 1 count of embezzlement

He siphoned away more than $50,000 from the U.S. Naval Seat Cadet Corps.

Couple marries where they had their first date: the hospital

The Marysville couple had planned to be married twice before but their plans were waylaid.

Most Read