Audit discovers ‘missing’ 12 miles of cable

The New Mexico State Auditor has tracked down most of nearly $1 million in unaccounted-for expenses and 12 miles of fiber optic cable related to construction of a broadband network in Northern New Mexico, the office announced recently.

State Auditor Wayne Johnson’s office reconstructed $778,952 in expenses approved by North Central New Mexico Economic Development District to build REDI Net. The original audit discovered the development district failed to account for nearly $1 million, along with miles of fiber optic cable worth about $200,000.

An “extensive review,” however, “concluded that there is more than likely no missing fiber optic cable,” according to a statement Thursday from the State Auditor’s Office.

The office subpoenaed records from three contractors that worked on the project — HP Communications Inc., Wesco Distribution and Broadband Planning Group LLC — after the two-year audit by Jaramillo Accounting Group of Albuquerque discovered unaccounted-for expenses of $955,767 from the REDI Net project. A federal grant of $10 million got the project up and running in 2010.

In March, state auditor spokesman Enrique Knell said the money wasn’t necessarily misappropriated. “It just means they can’t account for where it went,” he said at the time.

The subpoenas produced invoices from the three vendors that documented $407,000 in expenses. Invoices from Wesco documented another $371,945. That leaves $178,007 unaccounted for, according to the State Auditor’s Office. The auditors found one invoice from Broadband Planning Group that did not match the amount of the payment, with an apparent overpayment of $30,358 in 2011. The Colorado-based company dissolved in 2016 after eight years in business, according to Colorado corporation records.

Architecture award goes to SITE renovation

The project to expand and renovate SITE Santa Fe earned its architects recognition from the 2018 American Architecture Awards, the firm announced recently.

SHoP Architects, a New York City firm, designed the low-slung, 36,000-square-foot structure based on inspiration from the Santa Fe Railyard, where the contemporary art exhibition space is located. SHoP, along with several other firms, was recognized in the category of museums and cultural buildings. More than 100 firms were recognized in 17 categories, according to the awards website.

SITE Santa Fe Contemporary added 15,000 square feet to the space with the $8.3 million expansion and renovation, which it unveiled in October. Sarcon Construction Co. of Santa Fe was the general contractor.

“SHoP designed a comprehensive renovation and expansion of the exhibition and support spaces at SITE Santa Fe, enlivening the repurposed former beer warehouse with new galleries and gathering spaces inside and out,” according to a SHoP news release.

The American Architecture Awards are the nation’s highest public awards given by a noncommercial, nontrade-affiliated, public arts, culture and educational institution. The awards were announced June 11 by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, which organizes of the annual program.

BBB launches free online review app

The Better Business Bureau in New Mexico and Southwest Colorado launched a free app for accredited businesses called “Your Reviews.”

The app allows a business to request a customer review via a text message. Once verified, the review is then posted to the Better Business Bureau profile for that business.

The app is free to install, according to a news release. The Better Business Bureau introduced the app to capitalize on trends by consumers to rely on online reviews before choosing where to spend their money.

“In today’s digital world, a company’s reputation relies on online reviews,” wrote Matthew Mora for the bureau.

In 2017, more than 288,000 users visited the bureau website searching for reputable companies in New Mexico, the bureau stated. Its app is available for downloading at be-more-visible.

The New Mexican

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