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Audit faults Griffiss airfield development agency management

A state audit has criticized the management of the agency redeveloping the former Griffiss Air Force base in Rome.

The Authorities Budget Office is a state office overseeing economic development agencies. The ABO audit says the Griffiss Local Development Corp. took a “cavalier” approach to handling its funds.

The Air Force left the base in Rome in the early '90s. Since then, the GLDC has been working to re-imagine the site. It’s now a small private airport. And it’s home to aeronautics research facilities. It’ll be the hub for a commercial drone testing facility opening this summer.

The ABO says a larger economic development agency, Mohawk Valley EDGE, which oversees the Griffiss development corporation, inappropriately used money assigned to GLDC.

The audit also says several spinoff agencies from the GLDC resulted in poor financial oversight. It also say limited staff dedicated to GLDC hampered its effectiveness and ability to manage money.

Auditors do note that the GLDC has been successful in bringing jobs back to the old military airfield.