Which 121 (Denton Co, TX) Toll Road Proposal Less Risky? Report Says Cintra, But Guess Who Gets PAID by CintraSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

Which 121 (Denton Co, TX) Toll Road Proposal Less Risky? Report Says Cintra, But Guess Who Gets PAID by Cintra
 


16 June 2007 at 11:33:37 AM
salon

I saw the other day some blah-blah article that said "Report Unveiled (can you hear the trumpets sounding) That Shows Better To Have Privately Funded Toll Roads Do 121 Rather than, Say, NTTA". The report was paid for by the RTC and done by Price Waterhouse Cooper. When I saw this, I thought, hmm, report... any conflict there?

Building Texas 121 in Denton and Collin counties as a privately funded toll road would be less risky, and in most scenarios a better financial deal, than assigning the task to the public North Texas Tollway Authority, concluded an independent report unveiled Thursday.

The report by PricewaterhouseCoopers was paid for by the Regional Transportation Council, which held a five-hour workshop Thursday to talk about details of two proposals it had received to build the road.

One bidder, Cintra/JPMorgan would pay $2.15 billion upfront and $716 million over 50 years for the right to collect tolls on the road north of Grapevine. The money could be used on other North Texas transportation projects. A second bidder, the tollway authority, offered to pay $2.5 billion upfront and $833 million over 50 years.

Yup, there is. Today, I see that Price Waterhouse Cooper is actually in bed with .... CINTRA! So let's review. A report that says a Private Entity running the toll roads would be better; tha report CREATED by the company who has been getting PAID for both auditing and developing financial models for the TTC.

An accounting firm's evaluation of rival bids to build and operate the lucrative State Highway 121 toll road may not have been as independent as first billed, according to some public officials who will vote on the bids.

Corporate records show that Price Waterhouse Coopers, which was hired to evaluate the bids, has served as outside auditor to the Spanish firm Cintra since 2003. Cintra also paid the accounting firm $100,000 to develop financial models for the controversial Trans-Texas Corridor highway project in 2004.

Mike Eastland, executive director of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, defended his agency's hiring of Price Waterhouse. He said many council members knew about Price Waterhouse's work as Cintra's auditor but acknowledged that he or his staff should have informed the 39-member Regional Transportation Council about the accounting firm's work with Cintra on the Trans-Texas Corridor.

"We did fail, apparently, to convey that to the board, and I'll take responsibility for that," Mr. Eastland said. "It's an oversight on our part. I can see nothing in the [Price Waterhouse] analysis or their way of presenting it that would say we're trying to slant this one way or the other."

Executives at the North Texas Tollway Authority, Cintra's rival for the Highway 121 contract, said Price Waterhouse's assessment, delivered to the transportation council on Thursday, was biased.

"Our point is incredibly obvious," NTTA board chairman Paul Wageman said. "The judge of a competition should not be in business with one of the contestants. How can Price Waterhouse Coopers possibly be unbiased and fair in evaluating its partner's proposal against a competitor's?

"What the NTTA, the RTC members and the region didn't know is that Price Waterhouse Coopers is part of Cintra's team on a [Trans-Texas Corridor] project worth billions of dollars," Mr. Wageman said.

"That's sour grapes," said Cintra's Jose Lopez, president of the company's North American operations.

Don't make me LAUGH! Oh, I did. Yeah, Sour Grapes all Right, MR. CROOK! Is there any more we should know about what a corrupt organization Cintra is?


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