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Brasher officials faulted for issues with casino gaming compact money

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BRASHER FALLS - Auditors from the state Comptroller’s Office are recommending that Brasher officials include any future casino gaming compact funds as a line item in their regular budget.

But Town Supervisor M. James Dawson said he doesn’t want to prepare a budget with money that may or may not come to the town.

The recommendation was one of four made by auditors following a review of the town’s spending of casino compact money. The audit covered Jan. 1, 2010 through April 30, 2012 and the report was released this week.

“The Supervisor should ensure that records for casino compact moneys identify revenues received by spending plan, disbursements and uses against the respective spending plans, and the proposed purpose of any remaining funds,” auditors wrote in their report.

Mr. Dawson said that he had accountability for the funding, but it wasn’t part of his budget. Instead, he had broken down and categorized the spending separately.

“I did not have the casino funds as part of my budget. It was listed on a separate page and stapled to the budget,” he said.

“I talked to Roseanne Murphy (Empire State Development north country regional director) when Gov. Cuomo was in Potsdam this spring. I had heard St. Lawrence County put (the casino gaming compact money) in their budget and didn’t get it. She said, ‘Jim, you did the smart thing.’ If I put that as a regular part of my budget we have to make up the shortfall,” Mr. Dawson said.

“The auditor has a different viewpoint. There are certain parameters that they go by,” he said.

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