Edgartown dealing with water project accounting issues


Edgartown selectmen got an update at their Monday meeting on efforts to straighten out billing problems from two water department projects. Work done on the Nunnepog Well, and the new water department offices, were funded by loans and grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Town officials say because the water department did not submit documentation for reimbursement to USDA on time, the town had to pay approximately $151,000 of the cost from its general fund. Town administrator Pam Dolby said all the bills have now been submitted, and she expects full reiumbursement.

“Are we going to get the money?” chairman Art Smadbeck asked town finance officials, the water department commissioners, and water department manager Fred Domont on Monday. “I saw a stack of bills that came from the water department.”

Water department manager Fred Domont disputed that documentation was not submitted, and called for an independent accountant to review the documents compiled by town accountant Kimberly Kane.

“It’s all news to me,” Mr. Domont said. “As far as I can say, everything has been submitted. The spreadsheet developed by our engineers is sent to the USDA, and that’s how they keep track of where we’re at financially.”

On a separate billing issue, selectmen discussed a letter from Gaco Western, a roofing and decking materials supplier, requesting payment for materials used for repairs of Memorial Wharf. Ms. Dolby produced records showing the town paid for the materials through its contractor, Mauricio Sampaio.

Ms. Dolby said she is exploring a way to report Mr. Sampaio to state authorities and ban him from bidding or contracting for any other town projects.

“This has been a nightmare,” Ms. Dolby said. The project was completed in July, months beyond the promised date.

Also Monday, in a joint election with the library board of trustees, Denise Searle was unanimously chosen to fill a vacant seat. Under the town bylaws, she will serve until the next annual election, when she may choose to run for election to the job.

Selectmen also appointed Edie Blake an alternate to the historic district committee.