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

Snohomish mayoral candidates have very little in common

Karen Guzak and John Kartak are vying for the new position.

Second teen charged after $1 million in school vandalism

Two teens now face felony charges for damage at two schools in Darrington last summer.

Charged in stabbing, his long list of felonies could grow

The Arlington man is accused of attacking a man who interrupted a possible burglary in Everett.

A potentially transformative council election in Snohomish

As the city adopts a new form of government, many new faces are seeking office.

Mill Creek hires Gina Hortillosa as public works director

Hortillosa will be responsible for creating strategic infrastructure plans to promote economic growth.

1 shot dead, another wounded in apparent Everett robbery

There are indications the victims might have known the shooter, who apparently fled in a vehicle.

No third term for Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Roe

He quietly has been letting staff and community leaders know that he plans to retire in December 2018.

Ballots are going out and voting will soon begin

In Snohomish County, one of the marquee contests is in Everett where voters are choosing a new mayor.

Most Read