Van Tassell says it's time for UTOPIA to cut its losses, get out of the telecommunications business and sell its assets to the private sector.
"The worst reaction to this audit would be to throw even more good money after the bad money that has been wasted," he said.
Following a meeting Wednesday of the Audit Subcommittee of the Legislative Management Committee, Utah House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart, R-Provo, said among the main concerns she has regarding the audit findings is the financial impact the costly project could have on the taxpayers of member cities.
“There are concerns about the model, the management and some of the data that is in dispute with the auditor (regarding subscriber numbers),” she said. “Member cities are going to have to rise up and demand increased accountability and information from UTOPIA.”
Contributing: Jasen Lee
UTOPIA falls short of subscriber goals
In 2003, UTOPIA estimated its services would be available to all 141,000 addresses in its 11 member cities. Actual numbers show the agency has fallen well short of its goals.
Subscription rate: 35 percent
Subscription rate: 16.6 percent
Subscription rate: 16.5 percent
Subscription rate: 15.3 percent
Subscription rate: 16.1 percent
Source: Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General