Two Central Ohio Transit Authority bus shelters were supposed to cost taxpayers nearly $300,000, but Watchdog10's Paul Aker reported on Monday that the actual cost is quite a bit more.
The new shelters feature amenities, including infrared heaters, light-sensor lighting and copper roofs. According to COTA, it wanted the shelters to be nice because they are located next to the Ohio Statehouse and needed to reflect the stately atmosphere.
The price tag included $32,000 in design fees, $40,000 for the copper roofs and ornamental metal that cost $109,000, Aker reported. The total tab was $328,560, or equivalent of a four-bedroom home in Dublin.
COTA spokeswoman Beth Berkemer told Aker that federal tax dollars subsidized 80 percent of the project's cost. She said that the shelters are built to last.
"They are going to be here for 50-100 years, with great maintenance," Berkemer said. "These are really built to last. A lot of our shelters only may cost $8,000, but they're going to be here eight, maybe 10 (years)."
Berkemer said that shelters were also designed to meet the approval from a the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board.
According to Berkemer, COTA is planning to add several more of the upscale shelters. There is no immediate word about the expected cost.
The cost of a traditional shelter is about $5,000, Berkemer said.
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