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Weiler: Still no answers from UTA
by MELINDA WILLIAMS
Sep 03, 2014 | 721 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Utah Transit Authority - UTA - file photo
Utah Transit Authority - UTA - file photo
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WOODS CROSS – A local legislator says he still has no answers as to what a prepayment UTA made to a developer in 2009 was spent on.

“No one from UTA I’ve spoken with in the past week has been able to answer that,” said State Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross.

Among the findings of a UTA audit released last week was that the agency had prepaid $10 million to developer Draper Holding in 2009  for a parking structure in Draper. 

Some of the money was used for site improvements, but Weiler said the full amount was not used on the parking structure.

The company still owes $1.7 million, a sum UTA expects to collect in 2015.

 Last week, news that the developer still owed the agency money was revealed as part of an audit conducted by the state auditor.

The 131-page audit revealed a number of problems within the agency, most of which have been corrected.

But Weiler still says he has no answers as to what the money was spent on and who will be held accountable for spending taxpayers’ dollars on something other than their intended purpose.

Meanwhile, UTA says the garage was built and is being used today.

At his KUED news conference last week, Gov. Gary Herbert said he has confidence in the agency and its new leadership.

Weiler also praised the agency for the work they’ve done on correcting the problems that began surfacing in 2009. He commended UTA for implementing the recommendations of the audit.

“I like UTA and I want UTA to be successful,” Weiler said Tuesday morning, “but I want them to be accountable. That’s all I’m asking.”

 “If UTA gave a private entity money to do a project and the money was used for something other than the project, it needs to be investigated,” Weiler said. “It seems a lot like stealing to me.” 

UTA released a statement  on Friday saying the parking structure was built and is in use today at 12997 S. FrontRunner Blvd., in Draper.

“The money paid to the developer for the property and parking structure was, in fact, applied to the Draper garage,” the statement said. “Additional taxpayer money was not required for construction.”

КThe statement  notes that the agency is still owed $1.7 million from the developer and it expects to collect that by 2015.

 The outstanding funds are secured through collateral and the developer has a schedule of repayment.

Weiler plans on meeting with UTA General Manager Mike Allegra this week to get some answers on the situation.



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