State Comptroller says Glens Falls no longer on brink of financial crisis

December 11, 2017 05:47 PM

GLENS FALLS - Keeping the seats filled and lights on at the Civic Center was an expensive proposition for Glens Falls taxpayers.

Some years, they'd shell out almost a million dollars to keep it running.

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And those costs played a key role in getting the attention of  State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

New York's top money watchdog came to town in July 2014 to say if the trend continued, Glens Falls was in trouble.

DiNapoli said slow revenue growth and a low fund balance were putting the city on the brink of crisis.

Three-and-a-half years later, crisis averted.

"We discussed at great length at that time what we could do to improve our bottom line. We implemented some of those recommendations," said Mayor Jack Diamond.

The state's top advice was for the city to get out from under the civic center. And they did.

A coalition of business leaders took over the building.

The group running the Cool Insuring Arena now pays the city to lease the building.

Glens Falls is no longer at risk.

"They've made a number of strong decisions that brought them to a very strong position," DiNapoli said Monday at City Hall.

The city's also beginning to reap the rewards of a $10 million downtown revitalization initiative grant. In fact, the first visible sign of that will be SUNY Adirondack's culinary program moving into a new building at 14 Hudson St. in the spring.

"That's very significant to have 75 to 80 students downtown on a regular basis," said Ed Bartholomew who heads up the Economic Development Corporation of Warren County.  "We hope this is the first of many activities that SUNY will bring downtown."

It's in the same building as 80 apartments, almost all of them filled. The first floor is where the cooking will take place.

Just a couple of the ingredients that have city leaders smiling.


Mark Mulholland

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