Mayor defends Greenport Electric Plant spending

Greenport Mayor David Nyce disputed claims Thursday that the current Village Board squandered so much money on engineering fees for rehabilitating the Greenport Electric Plant that it does not have enough borrowing capacity to complete the $5 million upgrade.
Former trustee Bill Swiskey is claiming the board has spent at least $750,000 so far on the project.
But Mr. Nyce says that figure includes not only money the current board authorized, but money spent by the previous administration.  And not all the money went to pay engineering fees, according to Mr. Nyce. There was an upgrade to the electric distribution system approved by the previous administration in 2004 that ate up about $400,000, Mr. Nyce said.
Mr. Swiskey says at least 50 percent of the money planned for the initial phase of the electric plant upgrade was for engineering fees that shouldn’t account for more than 10 percent of the total cost.
Mr. Nyce’s numbers reveal that engineering expenses will average about 20 percent of the overall cost for the first phase of the project. He said that’s because engineering fees are higher when retrofitting changes to an existing system than they would be for a totally new system.
For complete coverage, see the Sept. 2 edition of The Suffolk Times.