Examiner News: NEW METRO writes off $168 million of your money (updated)

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As we’ve come to expect, Michael Reed has broken another story for the Examiner News on METRO’s absolute financial disarray courtesy of the White/Wolff/Wilson years.

Here are some key excerpts:

When Metro board members take a look at the transit agency’s annual audit, headed to the finance committee next month, the total assets portion of the ledger will be about $168 million less than it is today.

That is the staggering amount President George Greanias told the Finance Committee on Wednesday that Metro needs to write off its books as recorded capital assets “you couldn’t connect to anything we have of value.”

[snip]

Perhaps coming as something of a surprise, though, was the cost related to design work for the abandoned intermodal terminal project, Burnett Plaza, once planned for north of the UH-Downtown business school — a whopping $41 million to be written off.

Rendering of "Grand Central Station" Intermodal Terminal

Describing the plans for the terminal as “grandiose” and “unachievable,” Greanias said land purchased for the project remained as an asset, valued separately at $21 million.

“I’m not quite sure how it got to this point,” he said of the Burnett plans. “They are lovely drawings.”

[snip]

At least as odd, $26 million in labor costs had been listed as a capital asset, rather than an operating expense. Not discussed at the meeting: whether Metro would have restate any of its audited financial statements from 2004-

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