‘We didn’t know how much this was going to cost’: Residents worried for $2M worth of construction materials
SANTA FE, N.M. — When the $2.5 million project for a new bridge to replace Interstate 80 was approved last month, residents were relieved.
But now they’re concerned that $200,000 in building materials that would be used to build the $3 billion bridge are going to be donated to a group that has pledged to build it, in violation of the city’s land use rules.
“They’re not supposed to do this,” said Joe Staggs, who lives on the edge of the San Francisco peninsula and has lived in the city for 33 years.
Staggs is one of the more than 10,000 people who have signed an online petition that has garnered more than 60,000 signatures demanding that the City Council take action to prevent the foundation from using the materials donated to the new bridge.
It was not immediately clear how much money the foundation was donating to the San Mateo-based foundation, or what the terms of the donation agreement are.
But a city spokesman said that the agreement calls for donations to be used in the public good.
“If the City has any doubt that this foundation is a non-profit, it should look to the facts, and to the financial records,” spokesman Kevin Loh said.
The foundation has also promised to donate the money to the City Department of Parks and Recreation.
But Loh did not immediately answer questions about whether the city will investigate.
The mayor’s office did not respond to requests for comment.
Staggers said he’s concerned about the amount of money being given to the foundation because he is not a donor and because the foundation has yet to submit any documentation to the city indicating that it has paid back any of the funds donated.
“This is a waste of money, period,” Stagges said.
“I can’t believe it.
A city spokesperson confirmed that the donation was made and said it was a “non-profit organization.”
The city also said that no records of donations or any other information has been submitted to the office of the planning and zoning administrator.
City records show that the foundation received more than $1.3 million in funding for the new freeway, including $1 million from the city, the state of California, the Bay Area Foundation, the American Red Cross and other nonprofits.
Stags said he would prefer the foundation not be able to use his money for the bridge, which he said is in a poor condition and has limited visibility due to its location near the mouth of the Redwoods.
“It’s very important that the bridge is built, but the people who live there should have a chance to use the bridge,” Stags said.
“If we’re going to build this bridge, then the people of Santa Fe should have the opportunity to use it.”