Audit criticizes Town and Country for poor planning on development project

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway released her findings Tuesday on Town and Country’s multi-million dollar development project. Among the revelations was that poor planning resulted in the Town Square project costing $1.3 million dollars more than originally planned.

The reason was because of 12 change orders to the project, which was originally slated to cost $5.2 million.

The audit also criticizes the Mason Trail street project saying the City Planning and Public Works Department didn’t ensure that the city’s contractor obtained the required permits prior to starting the project. The city ultimately canceled the project at of loss to taxpayers of more than $100,000.

Citizens first called FOX’s You Paid For It Team back in late 2020 to shine a spotlight on their efforts to bring in the state auditor. They were concerned about city spending.

The effort didn’t sit well with some officials. There was even a resolution by one Aldermen asking citizens not to sign the audit petition, or take their name off if they had already signed. But the citizen group led by Lindsey Butler succeeded in getting the number of signatures they needed for the audit.

Read the full adit report below:

The news wasn’t all bad for Town and Country. Despite the issues found, the city got an overall rating of “good.”

FOX 2’s Elliott Davis talked to Mayor Charles Rehm who said he was pleased with that outcome but admitted there was room for improvement.

Citizen Group leader Lindsey Butler told Elliott: “I am pleased with the draft and final report from the state auditor. They took the concerns and information provided by the citizens and came to the same conclusion that the city poorly planned the Town Square Development. Additionally, I am thrilled that the documents turned over to the state showed them the issues with the city bidding process.”

“We want to thank Elliott Davis of FOX 2 and his You Paid For It segment! Because of his willingness to listen to citizens’ concerns, we have some resolutions to our issues thru through the state audit,” Butler continued.

Galloway also thanked city officials for their cooperation with the audit and their willingness to implement recommendations.

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