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State Comptroller audit: Monroe County mismanaged golf course contract, costing taxpayers $250,000

Updated: 08/11/2014 5:46 PM
Created: 08/11/2014 11:10 AM WHEC.com
By: Rebecca Fath

An audit involving Monroe County and how it handled a contract to manage Durand Eastman, Genesee Valley and Churchville golf courses was released Monday. According to New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the audit showed the County’s mismanagement of the courses cost taxpayers $250,000.

The audit of three county parks says the County didn't oversee its contract with the company it hired, Tindale Incorporated, to operate the courses. The audit found the vendor also pocketed nearly a quarter million dollars slated for course improvements.

The County responded to the state audit in a letter saying in part, "Although the draft report contains some misstatement of fact and a broader misunderstanding of government accounting standards, we thank you and your staff for attempting to identify opportunities for improvement in management (of these golf courses)."

Edward Gartz has been golfing at the Genesee Valley Park all his life. He said, “I find it extremely distressing to see the beauty of this golf course has deteriorated to the point that it's deteriorated. It's very sad.”

Because of a lack of simple upkeep and maintenance, Gartz says the course is overgrown with weeds. “First off, it makes the game of golf a little bit tougher but the main thing is it's going to cost money to put this back together.”
     
Golfer Bill Setek said, “There are certain things that could still use improvement if we talk about ball washes and garbage cans and things like that but the course itself is in pretty good shape and that's one of the reasons why we're here.”

Gartz doesn't know how the course got this way but says he's happy it's finally being addressed. “I's more complicated than just pointing the finger at one person.”

County officials add all of the issues were already addressed a year ago when it decided to terminate the course operator's contract at the end of this year. In a statement released today officials said, “Today's report covers no new ground from the leak of the comptroller's draft weeks ago, so the final product remains flawed and laced with trivial criticisms. We understand the comptroller feels the need to make headlines in an election year, but it's a stretch to suggest course experience was diminished by grievances as minor as the availability of snickers at snack stands."
 
Representatives from Tindale Incorporated did not want to comment.





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