February 24, 2008

You Paid For It returns to O'Fallon

You Paid For It is airing another segment on O'Fallon, Mo. Monday night. The You Paid For It team covers wasteful government spending and was in O'Fallon a few weeks ago regarding a story about the Koch Road scandal. Promos running on Fox 2 indicate Monday's story will be about O'Fallon's crumbling roads.
During former Mayor Paul Renaud's tenure as mayor, his friends in the building community (and his employer McBride & Sons) were able to pass ordinances that lowered the standards under which streets had to be poured. In addition, the city failed to properly inspect the work on streets by the developers and it later turned out many of these streets did not meet the lowered standards. Under Mayor Donna Morrow and City Administrator Bob Lowery, the city has returned escrow money to developers who failed to properly pour streets. I'm not sure if this is the angle You Paid For It will be covering but it is a story the residents need to hear.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The way it was set up for O'Fallon developers: They were required to put up escrow money to insure the quality of the infrastructure (streets, sidewalks, sewers), The City would then provide an inspection of the infrastructure. The developer would then get a deficiency list of items that needed repair before the escrow was released. The developer would make the improvements and then request the escrow money be released.
Now for what was happening under the Paul Renaud and Patrick Banger ( City Administrator) leadership: The Builder/Developer would put up the escrow money. Build sub parr infrastructure. Get an inspection. Then when the deficiency list was a large amount of money they would walk and not request a release of their escrow money. When Community development ask Patrick Banger what to do he said DO NOT GO AFTER THE ESCROW MONEY. Then of coarse the escrow would expire. Some could perceive this as a conspiracy to defraud the taxpayers of their infrastructure.
Just so you know, most escrows are letters of credit with expiration dates. In other words a piece of paper from the bank saying the developer is good for the amount until it expires. As of December 2005 there was $32,000,000. in escrow not accounted for of which a large percentage would have been spent on the streets.
Enter Robert Lowery who fired the people who were going to enforce the escrow policy, thus preventing the improving our streets, sidewalks and sewers.