Audit clears Center Market

CAMBRIDGE ‑ An audit of Simmons Center Market has cleared the business of overcharging county departments. The issue was first raised by County Council Vice President Jay Newcomb (District 1) during the Jan. 8 meeting.
“We had four departments billed the exact same amount, $499,50,” Mr. Newcomb said at the council’s Jan. 15 meeting. “It seemed mighty odd.”
The family of Council Member Ricky Travers (District 3) owns and operates the market.
On Jan. 8, Mr. Newcomb also said some charges seemed high. At the time, he made a motion to pay outstanding bills, but to delay for a short time paying Center Market until the issue was cleared up.
Voting on the motion Jan. 8, Council Member Lenny Pfeffer (District 4) and Mr. Travers were opposed. In favor of delaying payment were Mr. Newcomb, Council Members William Nichols (District 2) and Libby Nagel (District 5).
In the meantime, “We did some auditing of Simmons Center Market. At least, I did,” Council Member Lenny Pfeffer (District 4) said Jan. 15. “Of six items, they were cheaper than if Amazon delivered them.”
When council members voted Jan. 15 to pay the market, the decision was 4-0 in favor, with Mr. Travers abstaining.
In other county business:
The council will seek legislation at the state level to allow golf carts to be used on the roads of Upper and Middle Hoopers Island. The vehicles are already permitted in Vienna. The motion passed unanimously.
The council moved to advertise for proposals regarding replacement of the heating and air conditioning system for the Department of Emergency Services. New equipment will be used in the facility, which will itself generate more heat, requiring the new system.

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