Tuesday, March 25, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: KC Museum Board seeks answers from CIMO on renovation project

The city's Capital Improvement Management Office already has several enemies in the Police Department for not fully reporting what it charging the boys in blue on several projects.

Now it looks like CIMO has also caught the ire of Kansas City Museum Advisory Board Members for doing the same thing.

On Tuesday Board chairman Gary Marsh tore into CIMO staffers for not offering any explanation on several invoices the city office has submitted to the the Museum Board for renovation work currently being done.

"If I got something like this on my desk in my business, I would mark it up with red ink and tell them they were not getting paid any money," Marsh said.

CIMO had submitted an invoice to the board with vague descriptions and a bill for $160,000. Marsh said that with out any explanation of those costs he, and the rest of the board, could not be expected to simply fork over the money.

Marsh said he tried to get some help from City Manager Wayne Cauthen but instead got a letter that "basically told us to go to hell," Marsh said.

But city sources say some of those mysterious and unnamed charges could be coming from past project that the museum has had completed though the CIMO office.

Last year when the museum had the roof repaired, city officials say that the project ended up costing the city more than they had planned — although they would not say by how much. Officials say CIMO staffer are charging extra items to the current museum project at Corinthian Hall to make up those costs.

Now Marsh and the museum advisory board is looking at options to get some of those descriptions and find out what is being purchased and where the money for the project is going. Marsh said if the city does not comply with the board's requests then they might have to take legal action — something the police board is currently considering as well.

"If the city is not looking this close at their invoices then it is no wonder that we are $48 million in the hole," Marsh said, referring to the city's ongoing struggle to balance its budget, which is due on Thursday.

For more on this, check here and The Northeast News on April 5.