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2nd Panelist Assails Cost of Belmont School Project

May 20, 1997|AMY PYLE | TIMES EDUCATION WRITER

Deputy City Controller Timothy Lynch weighed in Monday with his own objections to using school bond money for the Belmont Learning Center project, saying the school district failed the test of fiscal prudence.

"Price should be a primary consideration in how contractors selected to receive [Proposition] BB funds are selected and this project does not meet that standard," Lynch, a member of the bond oversight committee, wrote in a memo to other panel members.

Lynch said the Los Angeles Unified School District fell short of the primary goal of more than two years of negotiations--to secure a maximum price guarantee. Not only can the current $87-million estimate grow with any unforeseen environmental problems, but the district told a judge last Friday that delays from legal action can add up to $12,000 a day in costs and penalties.

Lynch, who will be in Sacramento during today's panel meeting, said that the project is "more costly than it should be."

"This may be the time and place for our committee to send a message that we will not approve the use of BB bond money for projects where price is not a primary criteria for selection," Lynch said.

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