Editorial: Freeport sewage plant is $110,000 over budget

August 4, 2018

When it comes to construction projects, there’s always a chance for cost overruns.

It happens when we do home renovations, and it certainly happens when school districts and municipalities embark on big projects.

And wouldn’t you know it, it’s happening in Freeport, where the first phase of the $12 million sewage plant is over budget by $110,000.

That’s right, $110,000 -- and that’s just the first phase.

It’s one thing to miss a bid by a few hundred dollars, but $110,000 is enough to break the bank in Freeport, or any town of its size.

What’s most perplexing about this case is that no one can explain why.

Some members of council have spoken to project engineer Brian Churilla of KLH Engineering, who apparently has blamed the price hike on an old budgeting tool.

But as borough Treasurer Rich Hill said, “If he misses $110,000 on $668,000, what’s he going to do on a $12 million project?”

We’ll do the math for him: If this pace continues, the cost of the project could end up costing Freeport an extra $2 million.

That’s just unacceptable. Council needs to find the root cause of the problem and make sure the bleeding stops.

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