Transportation district disputes state audit claims of bidding violations

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JEFFERSON - In the wake of State Auditor Nicole Galloway's recent audit on transportation development districts, the Stone Ridge Transportation Development District, or TDD, board has expressed it disagrees with the report.

In a memo sent to the auditor's office with the legal counsel of Evan Fitts, the Stone Ridge TDD outlined different aspects of the audit which did not sit well with members of the board.

The audit included information of Stone Ridge accepting two different bids from construction companies, but only one of these bids was actually deemed valid by the audit.

The invalid bid was listed as coming from a construction company owned by members of the Stone Ridge board and also not complying with the official deadlines of the bidding process.

The district board's dissent included it believes it complied with all rules of the bidding process, including all deadlines, and summarized the problem was in the audit review itself.

The main accusation of the audit however stated the Stone Ridge district, as well as each of the other 11 districts reviewed in the audit, violated state law by not notifying consumers shopping at the district of an additional TDD tax rate being charged.

"The bid was submitted after the deadline established by the board and did not seem to address all bid specifications," the audit stated.

The Stone Ridge board responded it "intends to notify all retailers located within the District of this requirement [to disclose the sales tax]."

TDD's are groups which are legally able to impose a sales tax on consumers who purchase items within their district in order to regain expenses lost from construction projects contributing to transportation development.

The audit can be found on the Missouri State Auditor's website.

A release of the report details a summary of the report's findings.

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