City reaches settlement on share of road cost $104,500 saved on bill from state


The Westminster City Council has agreed to pay the State Highway Administration $116,540 to settle a bill from the West Main Street-Pennsylvania Avenue reconstruction project.

The SHA's final offer reduced its original bill by $104,500 and allowed the city to pay in three annual installments, Mayor W. Benjamin Brown reported at the Monday night council meeting.

The council opted for the installment plan.

City officials initially argued that they didn't owe any additional money after paying a 1991 bill that the SHA had marked "city's final share of costs . . ."

The agency then sent a bill for $221,040 in September 1992 with a note that it represented the city's share of construction and material inspections, associated salaries and administrative expenses.

SHA representatives said during negotiations with city officials that the charges should have been billed monthly during the project. They were omitted by mistake, Hal Kassoff, SHA administrator, said in a letter to Mr. Brown.

The mayor offered $52,000, the amount the city had left in its budget when the project was completed in 1991, but the SHA declined. Mr. Brown then offered $100,000.

A letter this month from Stephen G. Zentz, state deputy secretary of transportation, said the agency "cannot agree to a further reduction in the amount owed to SHA."

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