Akshar calls on state comptroller to investigate millions in unpaid state grants

Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 7:55 PM EST
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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- On Wednesday, State Senator Fred Akshar held a press conference urging the state comptroller to investigate millions of unpaid state grants.

Akshar said there are over a dozen local projects totaling over $6 million which were approved through the state and municipal facilities program that are still unpaid with no measurable progress. He said since 2020, despite personal conversations, repeated letters, and emails, the 52nd district has yet to receive answers of the status of the 2018 State and Municipal Facilities Program. It’s also known as the SAM Grant Funding and it’s for projects in the community.

“The message today is really very simple to the state of New York: Pay what you owe,” said Akshar.

Akshar said projects such as the Greater Good Grocery Store, Broome County roadway improvements, upgrades to the Discovery Center, and more have all been waiting for the past few years to receive the reimbursements that were promised to them.

“The project that I have the biggest problem with and take the greatest exception to not being paid is the Greater Good Grocery Store,” said Akshar. “Before this grocery store was built, people didn’t have access to fresh produce, they didn’t have access to cereal and milk. And the fact that you have asked an organization like this grocery store to go get a bridge loan and pay exceptionally high interest rates on that loan should be unacceptable to everyone regardless of your politics.”

The state senator said this is not only a problem in the 52nd district, it’s a problem for New York as a whole. He said funding these grants will also help the betterment of the community.

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