A $1.3 billion water filtration plant in Van Cortlandt Park has now become a $2.1 billion project, and the cost could reach $3 billion, according to critics in the Bronx who want the Department of Investigation to review the project expenses.
“Either city officials lied in their estimates or they’re incompetent, or it’s a combination of both,” said Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz in a public statement.
Critics said the numbers they cite were calculated from figures presented by the city Department of Environmental Protection at a May 17 meeting with community stakeholders. They say they added an additional $450 million to the project’s expected total cost because the DEP did not factor in things like equipment testing, project design and construction management.
Dinowitz and other lawmakers from the Bronx also want the Conflict of Interest Board to investigate because the former head of the DEP, which is in charge of overseeing the project, left his position “the day after the plant was approved by the City Council and just one year later became head of the General Contractor’s Association, a main advocate for building the plant in a city park.”
A spokesperson for the DEP said they will comment on the matter shortly.