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Economic development groups fail to file financial reports

Economic development groups fail to file financial reports

'These authorities are considered out of compliance with accountability'
Economic development groups fail to file financial reports
Photographer: Shutterstock

CAPITAL REGION — Around 129 state and local economic development authorities, including some in the Capital Region and the Mohawk Valley, failed to file required financial reports within the past year, the New York State Authorities Budget Office said on Tuesday.

The report was an official warning that could lead to future enforcement by the state office, officials there said. The required reports include — depending on the agency involved — budget reports, annual reports and audits.

"These authorities are considered out of compliance with accountability, transparency and reporting requirements of state law," Authorities Budget Office officials said in a prepared statement.

The list of authorities that failed to file required reports in 2017 includes the Albany Municipal Water Finance Authority, the Mechanicville Community Development Agency and the Wilton Water and Sewer Authority, all of which are overseen by local governments.

Non-profit economic development corporations that failed to file reports, according to the authority, include the Fulton County Economic Development Corp. and its real estate arm, Crossroads Incubator Corp. Both have a history of non-compliance, though both now fall under the authority of another organization, the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth in Gloversville. The Center for Regional Growth has filed a budget report with the ABO.

Ron Peters, president and CEO of the Center for Regional Growth, did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

Also on the list for not filing reports are the Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank in Mohawk, Herkimer County, which has a service area that includes Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie counties, and the Schoharie Community Development Corp.

Two community economic development corporations are on the list, though they have indicated they plan to dissolve: the Johnstown Economic Development Corp. and the Waterford Economic Development Corp. The authorities budget office said it requires EDCs to file reports regardless of whether they plan to continue operations.

Authorities are generally formed for a specific purpose outside the role of general government, such as encouraging economic development deals or financing and funding water, sewer and solid waste disposal systems, or a convention center or arena.

The Authorities Budget Office was established in 2009 in response to reports about financial abuses and lack of oversight at some authorities.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, swilliams@dailygazette.net or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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