Outgoing New York State Senator Fred Akshar is asking the state Comptroller to look into what happened to millions of dollars in state grants that were supposed to be coming to over a dozen local projects.

The Binghamton Republican and Broome County Sheriff-Elect says the project were approved in previous state budgets for the State and Municipal Facilities Program funding but never got their allocations. 

 Projects include the Greater Good Grocery Store on the Northside of Binghamton, upgrades to Binghamton parks, road improvements in Broome County, the Discovery Center, an emergency response vehicle for the Town of Maine, an elevator for a senior housing facility and improvements to Mirabito Stadium in Binghamton.

Photo courtesy Senator Fred Akshar's office
Photo courtesy Senator Fred Akshar's office

Akshar is asking Democrat Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli for a “full and comprehensive audit of several state grants programs that have gone unpaid.”

Akshar says some of the funding only needs the signature of the state legislature's Democrat majority.

The Republican contends the unfunded projects had been identified and awarded from funding passed in previous State Budgets approved under a Republican Senate Majority but became parked once the Senate slipped out of GOP control in 2019. 

Akshar hints at partisanship in the stalled funding saying "Local projects still stuck in a mysterious bureaucratic quagmire are not alone, with similar grants awarded in other Republican districts also held up.

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The Senator identifies 15 projects in his district that are show no movement, some, like approved funding of $76,000 for a Maine Emergency Vehicle, have been on the back burner since early March of 2021.

Akshar says he wants Comptroller DiNapoli "to provide a forma, thorough audit of the processing of these grants, along with an explanation why so many approved projects are not moving at all."

Akshar's 52nd Senate District is about to join those in Democratic hands as Democrat Binghamton City Councilwoman Lea Webb in November defeated Republican former Binghamton Mayor Rich David to win the newly redrawn district.

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