Two senior staff members for North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue were sending the wrong message.
According to findings by The Raleigh News & Observer, a pair of letters from Perdue’s office was delivered to state legislators calling for immediate funding for two major toll projects—the Garden Parkway and the Mid-Currituck Bridge—even though state officials say they will not be ready for money until 2014. Currently there is debate in the capital over $63 million in start-up costs for the endeavors. Jim Trogdon, chief operating officer of the N.C. DOT, took issue with a sentence in the letters, which contained his signature, claiming the funding is needed now. Trogdon immediately alerted his secretary and retracted the documents.
North Carolina lawmakers are currently engaged in budget discussions, and the House proposed that the funding for Garden Parkway and the Mid-Currituck Bridge be set aside in FY 2013. The Senate, meanwhile, committed the cash to other road and bridge needs.
Potential lawsuits involving the two toll projects is the reason Trogdon thought it would be better to delay funding allocation to 2014. Lawmakers who want to see the projects expedited fear if money is not earmarked now it never will be.