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Around Saratoga

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Clifton Park economic development fund to dissolve

By Lombardo David
Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Clifton Park organization designed to create jobs and growth the town’s tax base has decided to close up shop rather than continue to battle with the state Authorities Budget Office.

The Clifton Park Industrial Development Authority Economic Development Fund submitted a request last week in state Supreme Court to dissolve, following a unanimous decision by its board at the end of April to terminate operations. If the group is dissolved, its remaining $210,709 in funds would be transferred to the Clifton Park IDA, which formed the spin off organization with a $350,000 investment about four years ago as an easy way to provide loans and grants to businesses.

A part of the court filing is available below.

Its run has ended following a prolonged disagreement with the state ABO about reporting requirements, said Clifton Park IDA Economic Development Fund Chairman James Angus, who is also vice president of Saratoga Economic Development Corporation, a contributor to the founding of the fund.

On April 2 the fund was officially censured by the state for not complying with a year of requests for documents from the state, which argued that it had regulatory oversight of the fund. Fund officials disagreed with that interpretation and still do, but Angus said they didn’t want to continue to fight.

“It was clear that [state ABO Director David] Kidera wasn’t going to stop,” he said. “We didn’t it was in the best interest of the citizens of Clifton Park to fight the ABO.”

While the Clifton Park IDA will continue to carry out the fund’s mission of job creation, Angus said it is more burdensome for the IDA to make loans than it was for the fund. He noted that this is one of the main reasons the fund was formed. “It’s unfortunate, because you lose the opportunity to do things efficiently,” he said.

Kidera said on Tuesday that his office never advocated for the dissolution of an authority, but noted that they never opposed this option. “We always encourage entities that do not have a recurring public purpose or outlive their current purpose to consider dissolution,” he said.

The state ABO oversees about 570 authorities, of which about half are local development organizations.

Regarding groups that don’t feel like they fall under the umbrella of his office, Kidera said, “When they fight us ... the logical option is to dissolve.”

Follow @poozer87 on Twitter.

Clifton Park IDA EDF

 

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