Comptroller’s followup on critical 2014 NY Power Authority audit still finds NYPA records lacking
Sunday, February 10, 2019 - 8:53 am

The state comptroller says the New York Power Authority has not cleared up practices they criticized in 2014 which fell short of a complete accounting of its real property and transactions related to it.

Much of that property in near its Massena power dam.

“A prior audit found NYPA did not include all of its property in the reports it submits to the state and posts on its website. In addition, NYPA has not been consistent in how it reports disposals of real property. NYPA does not regularly review its real estate portfolio to identify properties it no longer needs, as required. NYPA property with a fair market value of more than $15,000 was leased for less than fair market value without notifying the Governor and Legislature, as the law requires. In a follow-up, auditors found that NYPA made some progress in addressing the problems identified in the prior report. However, additional actions are warranted,” the Friday statement from the Comptroller’s Office said.

In June 2014, the comptroller said the “unusual nature” of rental rates to private concerns such as golf and yacht clubs on property it holds in St. Lawrence County merited further scrutiny.

The 2014 audit noted that rents on places such as the Massena Country Club, the St. Lawrence Yacht Club, a St. Lawrence University boat house, and the Twin Brooks Golf Course in Waddington, are far below what would be expected in the open market.

In addition to the specific criticism of the examples in St. Lawrence County and elsewhere in the state, the audit was also critical of NYPA for not fulfilling its obligations to survey the properties, report the results and divest themselves of what they could.

“We found that NYPA made some progress in addressing the problems identified in our prior report. However, additional actions are warranted. Of the nine prior audit recommendations, two were implemented, four were partially implemented, and three were not implemented,” said the recent audit, dated Dec. 28, 2018 and released Feb. 8.

The five-page report can be seen at https://osc.state.ny.us/audits/allaudits/093019/sga-2019-17f16.pdf?utm_m....

Our story on the 2014 report can be seen at http://www.northcountrynow.com/business/new-york-power-authority-scolded... .