Refund Follows Claims Of Overbillings By Contractors

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Nine towns in Ocean County, N.J., will be refunded a total of $300,000 from overbillings by companies contracted to haul away debris after Superstorm Sandy.

The New Jersey State Comptroller’s Office found errors and miscalculations in hauling charges, but no evidence of pervasive intentional overbilling in an audit released Tuesday.

The disaster recovery firm AshBritt Environmental, of Deerfield Beach, Fla., received a no-bid contract worth up to $100 million to dispose of debris after the mega-storm last October, while three debris-removal monitors were responsible for calculating transport costs.

State Comptroller Matt Boxer was asked to investigate following news reports that towns were being overcharged.

Boxer found vague standards for calculating transport charges, including whether travel within the landfill should be counted.

Municipalities were charged by the mile, with a significant cost jump when transport exceeded 15 miles.
Officials raised concerns that many trips from temporary storage debris areas to landfills were exactly or just over 16 miles.

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