In May 1990, scaffolding was erected so workers could replace the roof at the North Avenue headquarters of the city school system. The $1.5 million roof-replacement project ended in January, but the scaffolding remains -- and taxpayers have paid $3,695 a month to rent it.
By the end of this month, the city will have paid a total of $33,255 to rent scaffolding that is serving no useful function.
During the roof-replacement project, the contractor discovered that additional work was necessary to repair gutters, cornices and balustrades.
School officials thought it would be cheaper to leave the scaffolding up until that work was done rather than to have it dismantled and pay $41,000 to have it re-erected, says Department of Education Public Information Officer Karen V. Poe. But Poe says the cost of the new repairs has not been determined, and neither has a date for beginning the work.
Doug Pierson, assistant to the comptroller, says no competitive bids have been advertised for the new work.
The city Board of Estimates has to approve the contract for the work, Pierson added, and "so far, nobody's submitted anything in our direction for those."
Like the roof replacement, the new repairs will be paid for from the city loan and guarantee fund.
The rental comes from the board's $56.3 million facilities budget that also funds salaries, equipment, supplies and materials.
It also cost $170,000 for a security fence surrounding the property and the monthly rental charges.