WCU re­turns $174G over­pay­ment

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Bill Ret­tew bret­tew@dai­ly­lo­cal.com

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

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