DOVER (WJER) (January 21, 2022) – The city still has bills to pay for work done at its power plant last year. City council Tuesday approved one payment – for $39,000 – but Council President Shane Gunnoe says there’s still about $463,000 to pay to three different companies.
The bills are for overages for 2021 maintenance work. Gunnoe says Council is in communication with the companies to find out why they went so much over budget. City Auditor Nicole Stoldt says some company representatives are losing patience and threatening not to work with the city.
“He was not very nice, I’ll tell you that, when he called me on the phone,” she said of one company’s representative. “He said, ‘Do you realize you have all these outstanding bills?’ and I said, ‘I understand, but do you understand the situation?’ He said, ‘I’m well-aware of the situation but if you want our guys to come back in there, we have to get paid.’”
Dover’s credit rating could take a hit if those companies bring in collection agencies to come after the city.
“My other concern is that if we leave all these bills unpaid … it will affect our debt-credit ratio if they start turning us in to collections,” Stoldt said.
Council members say the former plant superintendent approved the extra work without proper approval. He has since retired. That’s left other city officials asking questions about the necessity of some of the work and the legitimacy of the city’s relationship with some of the companies.
Council is also in the process of approving work at the plant for this year. Those same companies might be the only ones capable of working on the old equipment at the Dover Light and Power Plant.