Greene County wants Belleayre audit

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By Jay Braman Jr.
The Chairman of the Greene County Legislature is calling for a full audit of the state-owned Belleayre Mountain Ski Center.
Greene’s Legislative Chairman Wayne Speenburgh has sent the request to State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
“Being state-owned, funded and operated, Belleayre enjoys significant advantages that elude privately owned ski resorts,” Speenburgh said in the letter. “Belleayre’s questionable operations suggest, at the very least, fiscal irresponsibility.”
This marks the latest Belleayre bashing installment in Greene’s attempt to halt progress at the ski center. Greene, representing the two largest ski centers in the Catskills, Hunter and Windham, has had it out for Belleayre ever since a $45-million plan was announced last fall to expand the facility.
Greene wants to stop the expansion. So do Hunter and Windham. They even got their State representative, Senator James Seward, to join in. Seward last week held a press conference to advertise his Senate Bill that, if passed, would stop the expansion and also create a special committee that investigates the alleged unfair advantages the state’s recreational facilities have over private ones.
Joe Kelly of the Coalition to Save Belleayre said Tuesday that the audit request of just another effort to increase profits for the owners of Hunter and Windham.
Kelly notes that Belleayre is a public facility, not a private one. Therefore it does not have the same mission as Hunter and Windham, which are in business to make money for their owners.
Belleayre, Kelly said, exists to provide affordable skiing for the people of New York State.