Tucson charging late fees to street car manufacturer - Tucson News Now

Tucson charging late fees to street car manufacturer

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The company making the cars for the modern streetcar is running behind.

The City of Tucson is charging Oregon Ironworks late fees, but so far, the city hasn't collected on those fees.

Some people are pressuring the city to collect the late fees on those cars now.

Tucson was supposed to get the first car for the modern street car back in February. For every day these tracks remain bare, the city of Tucson charges Oregon Ironworks a late fee or liquidated damages, adding up to $250 every day for each late car.

"We'll be sitting down with the manufacturer and talking about how that value will come to the city of Tucson,"said Deputy Transportation Director Carlos Deleon.

He says the city may allow Oregon Ironworks to pay off those late fees by offering extras.

"We are going to be looking at getting, for example, some additional spare parts [and] maybe some extended warranties. Hit them in the pocketbook and let them know we're not waiting another six or eight or nine months or however long it's going to be."

Council member Steve Kozachik sees an opportunity to keep money from flowing out of the city budget.

"We keep pushing  the date and so they have no basis on which to take us seriously," Kozachik said. "It's kind of like the little boy who cried wolf: You come out again and again and again [so] why should they believe us? And I'm saying the only way to make them take us seriously is to hit them in the pocket book right now."

Kozachik has sent a letter to the city manager, suggesting the city start collecting on those fees. Meanwhile, the new projected date for the streetcar to be operational is now July 2014.

The city's interim director of procurement says staff can collect the fees now by deducting the fees off of what it's paying Oregon Ironworks, or they can wait until the entire project is done and ask Oregon Ironworks to cut a check for those fees.

Those late fees, at the end, could add up to $900,000.

There is a third option built into the contract where the company may pay off some of the fees by including warranties and spare parts for maintenance.

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