City notifies fuel vendor of intent to seek reimbursement of fuel charges
The city of Cape Coral is demanding a former fuel vendor meet with staff to discuss possible overcharges the city manager’s office says were discovered during an internal audit.
City Manager Gary King notified Streicher Mobile Fueling, Inc. of the city’s intent to seek reimbursement for more than $200,000 in “calculated overcharges for fuel from Fiscal Year 2008 to Fiscal Year 2010,” a prepared statement released by the city Thursday states.
The city maintains it may be owed up to $211,000, based on Florida State contract pricing.
King sent a certified letter to Streicher, also on Thursday, giving the vendor until July 13 to respond to a final request to meet and discuss the alleged discrepancies.
“We have been checking our billing records for fuel charges for the past three fiscal years, and we have found inconsistencies that raise concerns,” said King. “We have made several attempts to contact Streicher representatives to discuss our concerns; however, they have been unwilling to do so. This leaves us no other option.”
Streicher Mobile Fueling, Inc. officials could not be immediately reached for comment.
According to the city’s position, per Florida State Contract pricing, vendors add a markup to the daily rack average as established by the DTN FastRacks averages.
“A review of the fuel invoices found discrepancies between what the city should have been charged in total price (daily price + markup) and what the city actually was charged,” the city statement reads, in part.
City officials said the review was not part of a larger audit into city fuel issues conducted by Lee County but was a review performed in-house.
“We began checking invoices vs. pricing after realizing that formal checks were not being done on our fuel deliveries a few months ago,” said city spokesperson Connie Barron. ” We did random checks of invoices to compare the charges with what the contract allowed (the daily fuel price plus a set markup amount). When several of the invoices did not match up to what we thought they should be, we expanded the review to include the past three fiscal years.”
The city is not asserting any criminal intent, Barron said.
In April, the city switched fuel vendors and now uses Evans Oil for their fuel supply.