City pays $583,000 to pave dump before press conference

  • Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake holds a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the re-opening of the Bureau of Solid Waste's Northwest Sanitation Yard at 2840 Sisson St.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake holds a ribbon-cutting ceremony… (Baltimore Sun/Algerina…)
January 11, 2012|By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun

Update: Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake denied Wednesday morning that the dump was paved expressly for the press conference and said the spending board's agenda incorrectly described the situation.

"This work was not done in preparation for a ribbon cutting. Period," Rawlings-Blake said at a morning press conference. "It was unfortunately written that way."

Col. Alfred Foxx, head of the public works department, also denied that the work was expedited for the press event, and said that the renovation of the dump was driven by the launch of a new hazardous waste recycling program.

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One would assume that a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrates a completed project -- not that city workers scramble to finish a job for a press conference.

But an item before the city's Board of Estimates Wednesday indicates that sometimes that order can be flipped.  It explains that a $582,737 paving job at the Sisson Street dump in Remington had to be completed before Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake held a press conference there.

"This work had to be completed in time for the Mayor's ribbon cutting ceremony in October for the Super Citizen Convenience Center," the board's agenda states. "Therefore, it was done in advance of Board of Estimates approval."

Mayoral spokesman Ryan O'Doherty said that the administration was looking into the expense and had not been aware of the extra work order.

The item on the board's agenda would tack the cost of repaving Sisson Street onto the bill for a massive $18 million paving project for the Uplands redevelopment project on Southwest Baltimore.  

The agenda explains that the Solid Waste bureau, which runs the dump, did not have an available paving contractor, so leaned on the Transportation Department's contract with Monumental Paving & Excavating.

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