WCU returns $174G overpayment
WEST CHESTER » West Chester University has returned $174,000 to the borough for an overpayment connected to their deal with the borough over parking garages, a controversy that has already seen the borough manager take a paid leave.
The overpayment stems from a $611,000 borough check cut to the university, the amount of which was dictated by an ongoing parking garage agreement agreed to by both parties.
The borough built, operates and maintains the New and Sharpless street garages.
The pair entered into an agreement for any profit, after expenses, to be pocketed by the uni-
versity, with WCU paying bond payments.
Borough Manager Michael Cotter has taken a paid leave of absence after it was discovered during a line-by-line audit of the borough’s books by Finance Committee Chair and Borough Councilman Bernie Flynn that Cotter had OK’d cutting the $611,000 check to the university, without first approaching council.
The university repayment of $174,000 was due to a recalculation made by the borough, and agreed to by the university. The original $611,000 payment did not account for maintenance and other ongoing expenses, over a three-year time period.
Councilman Bill Scott has called for Cotter’s resignation after the borough manager told council that the original non-payment to the university was an oversight.
Council could vote at its Oct. 17 work session to end Cotter’s three year tenure with the borough.
Flynn said that some wondered why the $611,000 check didn’t “cripple” the parking fund account balance.
Flynn said that ImPark, which runs the garages, has been sending receipts to the borough for several years. Excess cash has been deposited into the “Ticket Revenue Account,” which contained $895,000.
Flynn said that the account is not a “slush fund” and everything now in the account will be reinvested for maintenance and upkeep of the garages.
WCU is considering purchasing the pair of garages in 2020.
“We have to maintain the assets,” Flynn said. “The university will not accept a piece of property falling down.”
The borough intends to send the university monthly checks after deducting expenses.
“I’m very happy to get back with the university on a regular payment plan – sometimes they pay us,” said Council President Diane LeBold, “so everybody knows where we are at any given time.”
“I’m very happy to get back with the university on a regular payment plan – sometimes they pay us, so everybody knows where we are at any given time.” — Council President Diane LeBold