BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - City Comptroller Mark Schroeder audited operations at the Erie Basin Marina and announced last month the marina's operator, Brand-On Services, shorted the city more than $300,000 over the last five years.
On Tuesday, the Common Council took its turn asking questions. The city's attorney agrees with the comptroller's assessment of the Hatch restaurant.
City Comptroller spokesman Patrick Curry said, "His position is, we sent them an invoice for $343,000. He is going to pursue that payment, and we hope to get that payment from Brand-On."
The comptroller forwarded its findings to the District Attorney for possible prosecution. But Brand-On countered, times and costs have changed significantly since the company signed a 15-year contract to operate the marina and city officials have made allowances, otherwise costs would have been prohibitive.
Brand-On attorney Mark Carney said, "It absolutely comes down to a landlord-tenant dispute over how much is owed, in terms of fuel sale, on whether or not there is a legitimate deduction for maintenance, which was requested by the City of Buffalo."
Common Council members are now looking to recover some of the money they feel the city has been shorted from operations at the marina.
Council President Richard Fontana said, "Nobody is looking to make the company go under, or make the company pay something that is not fair. But there is documentation here that shows there could have been a fair profit made by the company and also the taxpayers could have gotten their profit. We have to recoup the taxpayers' profit at this point."
City lawmakers are following up Tuesday's hearing with a meeting with Brand-On's operators, and the city comptroller. They are talking about taking the issue to an arbitrator to get to the bottom line.
The Erie County Sheriff's Bomb Squad, ATF, and the Buffalo Police Department were called to Tioga Street near Fairchild Place in North Buffalo just before midnight Thursday.
Eighty-two-year-old Edward Spencer was making a left hand turn while exiting the Budwey's parking lot when he struck 52-year-old Sandra Garner and 55-year-old Kevin Nowak, according to authorities.
An angry mother who claims her daughter was dropped-off miles away from home wants answers.
Deputies say a teen driver fell asleep at the wheel early Thursday morning before crashing head-on with another vehicle.
Police say a Jamestown man was selling crack cocaine out of his barber shop on East Second Street.
City Hall is considering turning to taxpayers to help keep the lights on at the only movie theatre in downtown Buffalo.