NYS Comptroller says Syracuse Regional Market’s finances have ‘deteriorated’

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — New York State Comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli released an audit on May 14, saying if authority officials do not take measures to increase Central New York’s Regional Market’s revenue, reduce expenses, or both, they will “not have sufficient funds for its operations.”

DiNapoli is highly critical of the financial management of the people who run the regional market.

“The Central New York Regional Market Authority’s financial position has deteriorated, and the cash available to pay operating costs declined from fiscal year (FY) 2020-21 to FY 2022-23,” he said.

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He says in his audit that losses mounted to nearly $100,000 at the end of the fiscal year for 2022-23.

The market is run by a 13 member board which includes appointees from Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga, Madison, Cortland, Oneida, and Wayne counties, as well as the commissioner of the state’s Department of Agriculture and Markets.

“The Central New York Regional Market Authority board and officials need to turn its financial operations around before its fiscal situation gets worse. I am glad they took our findings and recommendations seriously and are working on a corrective action plan,” DiNapoli said.

The market is meant to help vendors sell their products, programs, and services to promote agriculture within the area.

County Executive Ryan McMahon says they understand there are many challenges, but that the county will continue to invest.

“We do need to move forward with the plan. Where we’re not just looking at what the facilities at the market need to be, to be upkept, but, what’s a new market look like? How can we drive more traffic to the market, make it a true tourism venue?” said McMahon. “More people means more support for our local farms.

McMahon adds that there are still concerns, considering the market being in disrepair.

According to DiNapoli, auditors made 14 recommendations to the authority to improve its financial condition.

Here are a few of they key ones:

  • Take immediate measures to reduce spending and/or increase revenues.
  • Adopt realistic budgets that provide recurring revenues to finance recurring expenses, and closely monitor the budget and cash flow.
  • Work to prioritize and address critical infrastructure needs and fill vacant rental space.

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