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

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Darrington School Board dealing with upheavals

The crux of the controversy seems to be the superintendent’s job.

Vegas, LA, Phoenix, and more destinations from Paine Field

Alaska Airlines will fly to eight West Coast cities out of Everett starting this fall.

Three teens arrested for Marysville school vandalism

Windows were broken and a trash bin was on fire Sunday night at a Marysville middle school.

Langley mayor threatens newspaper with lawsuit

The mayor threatened to sue the paper over claims he withheld public records disclosure information.

Divers called to recover body after train hits pedestrian

The accident was reported by a BNSF crew near Woods Creek in Monroe.

Marysville police send abandoned, unclaimed bikes to Zambia

“Out where we are, a bicycle is upward mobility,” said Kelly Huckaby, a missionary in Africa.

Man shot dead after argument at bar south of Everett

Police say an employee of the bar shot and killed the man, who had opened fire in the parking lot.

Most Read