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CHRIS CASTEEL, Washington Bureau Published: June 17, 2009

The cost escalation negated any benefit from receiving the money, the report states, and led to an increase in residents’ utility bills.

Gibbs said the problem in Perkins was the state loan used by the city for the balance of the project cost, but Hart said the loan had nothing to do with raising the cost of the project.

Gibbs said he hadn’t looked at all of the projects cited in Coburn’s report. Hart said it was "disappointing that he’s commenting on something he hasn’t read.”

Hart said an overarching theme of the report is that "low-priority projects are being funded at the expense of higher priority projects.”

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