Buffalo Common Council to Focus on Erie Basin Marina Operator

6:26 PM, Sep 24, 2013   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y. - Buffalo Common Council members will have some tough questions to answer, after an audit from the city comptroller found problems with the operator of the Erie Basin Marina.

The report says Brand-On Services, which has a contract with the city owes nearly $350,000 in rent.

Ultimately, the city will need to decide whether or not to keep doing business with this company, because Brand-On Services is up for a contract renewal that would extend their agreement with the city until 2015.

In an audit released two weeks ago by Buffalo comptroller Mark Schroeder, Brand-On shorted the city in rent payments for the past five years.

The comptroller's office also says 20,000 gallons in fuel has gone unaccounted for under the company's watch.

Schroeder recommends the city end its deal with the company and look for others to run the marina. This would require action from Common Council.

Many council members are split on whether the city should continue to do business with Brand-On Services.

"It doesn't look good, right now in my opinion, but I do want to keep an open mind and hear what they have to say," said council member Joe Golombek.

Council president Rich Fontana says, "if it's determined that gas is missing, that there's 20,000 gallons of gas missing and that they were billing us incorrectly, and not giving the city taxpayers what they deserve then they should not be a bidder."

The comptroller has informed Erie County district attorney Frank Sedita and the state attorney general's office of the report on Brand-On Services. Part of the contract with the city requires that a percentage of fuel sales and revenue from the restaurant and marina go to the city.

A committee meeting begins at 10 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall. Calls to Brand-On for comment have not been returned. Golombek says that a representative from Brand-On Services should be at the meeting to answer questions from council members.

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