BUFFALO, N.Y. — “The belt and suspender” treatment.
That’s what Buffalo Assembly Member Sean Ryan would like to see on expensive state economic development projects.
“And the belt and suspenders is sending this stuff to the Comptroller’s office for a very dispassionate review, and I hope that’s where we get out policies in a very short time,” Ryan said.
Ryan’s remarks come after 2 On Your Side broke the story about $50 million of solar manufacturing equipment sitting idle at a Wheatfield warehouse. The equipment was purchased by taxpayer funds.
A switch by Tesla from traditional solar panels to its solar roofing tile product rendered the machinery useless for the Buffalo operation.
And while people wonder how such an expensive error could have happened, a spokeswoman for State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli points out to 2 On Your Side the Tesla deal bypassed the normal review process.
Assembly Member Monica Wallace of Cheektowaga is co-sponsor of a bill that returns Comptroller reviews to development deals done by the state.
“At a minimum in the future we should be made aware of when there’s going to be equipment that’s going to be off-site,” Wallace said.