Sen. Somers statement on CT Port Authority audit

August 4, 2023

Sen. Heather Somers (R-Groton) today issued the following statement in reaction to a new state audit which criticizes the Connecticut Port Authority for allowing the construction management company that is overseeing the redevelopment of the Connecticut State Pier in New London to recommend itself for several multimillion-dollar subcontracts for the public infrastructure project.

“This is like ‘Groundhog Day’. From an unfair contracting process to red flags regarding the selection of paid consultants, one thing is for certain: the lack of transparency at the Connecticut Port Authority endures. Year after year, we as lawmakers work in a bipartisan fashion to craft and pass legislation to reform the authority, yet it seems we will always have more reforms to make. The authority is entrusted with millions of taxpayers’ money. It is making crucial decisions which have long-term impact on our region and entire state. And the taxpayers keep getting footed with the mounting bills. Just five weeks ago, despite Republican opposition, the state approved $30 million more for State Pier after the authority had promised they would not be asking for more money. The founding Chairman of the Port Authority, Scott Bates, publicly stated the total project cost would be $93 million. The expected cost has now swollen to more than three times that amount. Today, it’s hard to not believe this was always a $300 million project and they just didn’t want to be honest with the taxpayers.

The taxpayers deserve answers – and an apology.”