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Petro finishes audit of city



Published: Wed, February 6, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The audit contains findings against Avalon South, the mayor has said.

By AMANDA C. DAVIS

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- City officials and lawmakers are being tight-lipped about a 2000 state financial audit that will likely be released later this month.

Representatives from state Auditor Jim Petro's office were in town Tuesday to discuss results with administrators and city council in a closed-door session. The post-audit conference took nearly two hours, and officials kept mum about results afterward, saying they were asked by the state to forgo commenting until the document is officially released.

Mayor Hank Angelo confirmed last week that the audit has some findings for recovery related to the city-owned Avalon South Golf Course. He wouldn't say whether there are other findings contained in the audit.

Councilman Bob Marchese, D-at-large, finance committee chairman, said he may call a meeting later this week to discuss possible forthcoming legislation regarding Avalon. Officials have not said what the legislation will contain. They did say litigation is pending but have not indicated who is considering suing whom.

Anthony Joy Jr. manages the course for the city and owes the city nearly $70,000 in rental fees from 1996 and 2000.

Midwestern Indemnity Co. of Loveland canceled Joy's insurance policy on the course last month.

He was unavailable this morning and there was no answer at Avalon South.

What's next: Law Director Greg Hicks said that the city will weigh options regarding the canceled insurance but that a decision doesn't have to be made immediately because the course is not open to the public.

Joy is responsible for paying real estate taxes on the course, but the city has bailed him out a few times, to the tune of about $190,000.

The county has threatened to foreclose a few times because Joy was delinquent. He is now on a plan to repay more than $50,000 he owes in back real estate taxes on the 131-acre course.

Officials have said Joy has also been delinquent on a $425,000 loan given by Second National Bank in 1995 so he could make improvements to the course.

Records show he still owes more than $300,000.

Rick Kubic, senior deputy auditor working in the state's Youngstown office, said the audit will likely be made public around Feb. 22 or 23.

The city will have a few days to go over the audit and make objections.

davis@vindy.com




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