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Comptroller to conduct full audit of ORDA, including Belleayre

Joseph Spector - Politics on the Hudson

ALBANY – Saying “financial issues persist,” State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said Wednesday that his office will conduct a full financial audit of the Olympic Regional Development Authority, especially in light of the agency taking over the Catskills-based Belleayre Mountain Ski Center.

DiNapoli said his office will examine selected financial management practices related to payroll, procurement and other areas.

Ulster County Legislator John Parete was appointed to the ORDA board after state legislation transferred Belleayre from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.  He said any audit is good so long as it makes recommendations for improvement.

“I think Belleayre, as they integrated it into the entire ORDA program, is going to be very, very successful toward the finances and financial security of ORDA,” Parete said.

In the last reported fiscal year, ORDA spent $40.4 million and took in $39.7 million in revenues, which included the state and local financial contributions. The authority’s financial statements identified an operating loss of $16.9 million in 2012.

As of fiscal year end March 31, 2012, ORDA reported 304 active procurement contracts totaling nearly $27.5 million, of which 167, valued at $7 million, were either not competitively bid or were non-contract procurements.