City Comptroller: Erie Basin Marina Operator Owes City Back Rent

4:39 PM, Sep 13, 2013   |    comments
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BUFFALO, NY - Buffalo City Comptroller Mark Schroeder announced Thursday the operator of the Erie Basin Marina owes the city $343,245 in rent.

According to an audit released by Schroeder's department, Brand-On Services underpaid the city in each of the past five years. As a contractor of the city, the company shares a cut of its restaurant and marina revenue. The audit also claims that after the city sold 383,173 gallons of gas to Brand-On, but the company only reported selling 362,484 gallons to customers. That means more than 20,000 gallons is currently unaccounted for, and coupled with the underpayments, Schroeder said he's asking the city not to waste any time.

"An invoice should be sent immediately," Schroeder said. "If the amount due cannot be paid immediately, further action should be taken by corporation counsel to ensure collection of this debt."

2 On Your Side contacted Brand-On Services through email.   Operations Manager Julie A. Wolasz replied that they had not received a copy of the audit yet, and would not be able to comment at this time.

The audit recommends the city terminate its contract with Brand-On, meaning it would need to find another operator starting in 2014. Department of Public Works Director Steven Stepniak said confusing language in the original contract might have contributed to the underpayments from Brand-On.

"We've made adjustments to clear up the contracts," Stepniak said. "It's been out there for over 10 years. It has bad language. And we're going to clarify that language so we don't have these circumstances."

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