Some Tennessee municipalities are experiencing sticker shock after receiving bills in the mail from the Tennessee Department of Transportation for unpaid road work.
The City of La Vergne recently received five invoices showing it owed more than $1.6 million.
The bills are for projects completed between 2004 and 2013.
La Vergne Director of Finance, Phillis Rogers, told News 2 the city was unaware it owed the state money.
“We were very shocked. We were not aware of any kind of changes to these projects,” said Rogers.
The largest invoice was for the massive Waldron Road widening project which was finished in 2013. The amount due for that improvement is just over $1.2 million.
Rogers says, apparently, the projects ended up costing more than city leaders had planned but no one from the state told them.
“It bid out at $10.8 million but according to the state, that project is now a $15 million project. We were not aware it was going to be a $15 million project,” said Rogers.
A spokesperson for the TN Department of Transportation told News 2 “the extra costs were incurred during construction and the city is contractually obligated to pay them.”
The process can take time. The bills don’t go out until the work has been finished and there’s still an 18-month backlog, according to TDOT.
Rogers says she is now looking back at old contracts to figure out if the city is responsible for paying. If it is, city leaders will have to figure out how to come up with the extra cash.
“I don’t have a clue. We don’t have it,” said Rogers.
It’s not known how many cities and counties recently received bills from TDOT or how much money is still owed to the state.
441 Murfreesboro Road Nashville, TN 37210