State Treasurer Janet Cowell was in the loop on a controversial financing plan to finish building Charlotte’s Interstate 485 -- but she did not object until a few hours after it was announced by Gov. Bev Perdue, state transportation officials said today.
Perdue told Charlotte leaders on Nov. 9 that North Carolina would put up $290 million for a pair of I-485 projects expected to cost $340 million. The project contractors will be asked to finance the remaining $50 million, she said, to be repaid by the state over the next 10 years.
Jim Trogdon, chief operating officer for the state Department of Transportation, said he first outlined the I-485 plan in a meeting with Cowell Oct. 12. She expressed enthusiasm and asked DOT officials to work with members of her staff.
“She said they were excited about the opportunity to work with us on the project,” Trogdon said today.
Cowell’s staff later asked about DOT’s legal authority to finance part of the project cost, and DOT cited a statute that Trogdon had helped draft when he was a legislative staff member in 2006. ... [MORE]