Good morning. Here’s a glance at opinion content published today:
Ramapo stadium: Editorial
We comment on news that a draft audit conducted by state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli found that the town of Ramapo inappropriately financed the construction of Provident Bank Park, the stadium that plays host to the Rockland Boulders. We write:
… A draft audit by the state comptroller, leaked to The Journal News, provides a play-by-play description of how the Town of Ramapo used the Ramapo Local Development Corporation to push through a project that, at least during the conceptual and development stages, had little public support and even less promise of financial success. That project, now named Provident Bank Park, is home to the Rockland Boulders, which recently ended its first season in the independent Can-Am League.
The comptroller’s draft audit finds that Ramapo “inappropriately mingled the activities of the town and the Ramapo Local Development Corporation” as it pursued building the stadium. The audit derides the town’s methods — and questions the legality of some events, such as the “free” transfer of town land to the local development corporation.
The draft audit also makes clear that Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence and his Town Board violated the spirit of an August 2010 town referendum that denied permission for the town to guarantee loans for the stadium. While St. Lawrence quickly pledged that no town money would be spent on the project, the town continued to spend millions for work at the 61-acre property, and later the Town Board voted to guarantee a $25 million short-term bond taken by the RLDC, a decision the draft audit said went “against the voters’ wishes.” …
Yonkers and Ridge Hill
Phil Reisman examines Ridge Hill, the massive development in northern Yonkers, and its developers’ decision to brand it as “Westchester’s Ridge Hill.”