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Friday, February 5, 2010 - 6:30am

DOT Board Gets Reprimand From Senators

Members of the state board of transportation got a reprimand from state senators. They were upset that the DOT board tried to change the way it funds roads without consulting lawmakers or the governor.

Committee members were not shy to chastise the chairman of the DOT board, Bill Kuhlke. They used words like reckless and disrespectful to describe a move taken by the board last month. It voted to change the way it accounts for road project from a cash based system to accrued accounting. Currenlty contracts can only be awarded when the money is available.

In Accrued Accounting, the DOT could sing contracts based on money it expects to get in the future. Such accounting is not legal, lawmakers say. The DOT's move to try to change it's procedure could now jeopardize Georgia's good bond rating.

State Senator Cecil Station says lawmakers are close to find a solution this year to finally fund transportation, but the DOT board’s actions, he says could stifle that.

"Because it appears to me a self-destructive act. Almost an act of sabotage I would say when things are finally coming together in this state on transportation."

Board Chairman Kuhlke apologized to the Senate Panel for the board's action and promised to revisit the issue. He did not vote in favor of the change. Fellow board members say they want the Attorney General to determine whether accrued accounting is legal, because they say, they did it in the past.

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