Niagara Gazette

Local News

October 10, 2013

State office questions lack of reporting for Joe Davis Park entity that Lewiston official says soon will be dissolved

Niagara Gazette — The New York State Authorities Budget Office has censured the members of a local development corporation for failing to file annual and audit reports in a timely fashion as required under state law. 

The chairman and chief executive officer for the entity in question — the Joseph Davis Park Local Development Corp. in Lewiston — says he's not expecting the decision to have a long-term impact on the organization as town officials have already agreed to disband the group. 

"The decision was made by the supervisor and the board to dissolve the local development corporation," said LDC Chariman and CEO Louis Giardino. "We instructed the attorney for the local development corporation to do so. That process is under way." 

The Town of Lewiston formed the Joseph Davis LDC to oversee park operations after budgetary constraints prompted the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to turn oversight of the park over to the town. The LDC is overseen by a seven-member committee, which brought in Giardino, who runs the Rochester-based real estate services firm, Construction Economists of America, or CEA International, as a consultant. LDC board members had hoped to work with Giardino through the LDC to develop a hotel, conference center and other amenities at the park. The projects never moved beyond the discussion phase. 

In a release issued Thursday, the authorities budget office cited the Joseph Davis Park Local Development Corp. as one of 13 such entities found to be out of compliance with state reporting requirements. 

LDC officials failed to file annual and audit reports for the fiscal years ending Dec. 31, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2012, according to the state authorities budget office. The entity also failed to file a budget report for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2013. 

In an Oct. 1 letter delivered to Giardino and other town officials, authorities budget office Director David Kidera said his office asked LDC officials in February to "justify the authority's persistent failure" to meet the reporting requirements. According to Kidera's letter, Giardino responded on March 4, asking for guidance in filing and indicating that he would be "glad to comply." On March 5, the authorities budget office emailed Giardino instructions on how to file while offering additional assistance if needed. According to Kidera, the compliance reports have yet to be filed.

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