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City asks for changes in school modernization program

Posted June 16th, 2014 @ 4:06pm by Bud Lowell


The City of Rochester has sent a letter to the area's state legislative delegation saying it has big problems with the proposed state law starting up Phase II of the city Schools Facility Modernization program.

Phase I of the multi-million dollar project is under investigation by the FBI for reasons that are officially undeclared -- but unofficially are believed to be over irregularities in the awarding of contracts meant for minority and women-owned businesses.

The letter signed by Mayor Lovely Warren and City Council President Loretta Scott says the city strongly opposes the Phase II legislation as written, Both officials say the $435 million second phase shouldn't move forward until the legislation is rewritten to "improve oversite activities," set criminal penalties for providing falsified documents to the School Construction Board and spelling out fines for fraud and abuse of the program.


Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle responds with a letter of his own, asking the city to reconsider. Morelle says he's also concerned the massive project be run on the up-and-up. He says the legislation on the state-run project has been modified to require monthly reports from a project compliance officer to the joint city-school district board that oversees the work.



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