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Leadership blamed for streetcar costs

A new audit of the Tampa streetcar line confirms what has largely been reported _ that it cost more to build than was promised, and the project was poorly supervised.

"The bottom line, and the city agrees with me on this, there overall was bad management," said Daniel Pohto, director of county audits for the Hillsborough Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Pohto's office was enlisted last year to review spending on the Tampa streetcar line that links Ybor City with Channelside that was overseen by Hillsborough Area Regional Transit. The audit was begun at the urging of Hillsborough commissioners after a former employee, John Dausman, complained of spending irregularities on the project.

Pohto's audit concludes that construction of the actual streetcar line cost $12.6-million more than the original $23.9-million estimate, and that a more detailed plan should have been approved before the project was given the green light. The review does not cover other aspects of the project that drove the price higher.