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Comptroller audit criticizes county on golf courses

Rochester Business Journal
August 11, 2014

Monroe County failed to properly manage or enforce its contract with the private operator of its three golf courses, allowing Tindale Inc. to pocket nearly $250,000 that should have been spent on improvements, an audit released Monday by the state comptroller states.

“Monroe County’s failure to oversee this contract has cost county taxpayers a bundle and left the courses in poor repair,” Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a statement.

The county had contracted with Tindale since 1997 to oversee operations at Durand Eastman, Genesee Valley and Churchville courses. The private operator was to submit a percentage of the revenues to the county, based on calculations, the comptroller’s office said.

The contract was extended to the end of 2017, but amended to require Tindale to contribute $300,000 for repairs to a clubhouse at one course, and to make $100,000 in capital improvements annually, the audit states.

Tindale could not make its required monthly payments in June and July of 2013, and the county notified the company during the state audit that it would terminate the contract at the end of 2014, the comptroller’s office said.

The county relied on limited internal audits to monitor operations and did not take actions to address problems found, the state audit found.

Tindale’s audited financial statements show a reliance on a $150,000 line of credit and negative retained earnings of $269,802 at the end of 2012, the state audit shows.

The county said Monday that the audit is flawed and laced with trivial criticisms. The statement is attributed to the county’s chief financial officer, Robert Franklin, and to Monroe County Director of Parks Lawrence Staub Jr.

“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,” the joint statement states. “The county looks forward to restructuring course management—a plan that was finalized a year prior to this report—in addition to choosing a new vendor through a competitive selection process in the near future.”

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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