Portland administrator placed on paid leave


Dean Marriott, director of the Bureau of Environmental Services, is on administrative leave after a city audit pointed out large cost overruns for a new employee building at the Columbia Wastewater Treatment Plant.

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Dean Marriott, director of the Bureau of Environmental Services, is on administrative leave after a city audit pointed out large cost overruns for a new employee building at the Columbia Wastewater Treatment Plant.

According to the audit, the building’s cost increased from an original estimate of $3.2 million to $11.5 million by the time the building was completed last year. The increase became an issue in the campaign on a ballot measure to transfer control of BES and the Portland Water Bureau from the City Council to an independently elected board.

The audit points out that the building was necessary to replace temporary trailers that had begun to deteriorate. But the audit also cites several design and use decisions made by BES that increased the cost of the project after it had been approved by the council. For example, the audit points out that BES decided the building should be able to function as an emergency operations center after the council approved the project, requiring an additional $500,000 to be able to survive a severe earthquake. Expanding the work site also increased the cost by $1.5 million.

Read more at Portland Tribune




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