Just over three years ago, Fresno real estate developer Terance Frazier and his group, Central Valley Community Sports Foundation, made a deal with the city to reopen Granite Park.
A previous developer had flopped and left the city holding a $6-million debt over the baseball, softball and soccer complex located just off Highway 168 at Dakota.
Frazier put up nearly $2 million into restoring the ball fields, and got the parks up and running. The city agreed to provide $150,000 a year in assistance.
But last September Frazier asked the city for an additional $150,000 a year.
The city demanded a financial audit first. Councilmember Paul Caprioglio praised Frazier's work.
"To have the management at Granite park now is phenomenal - for me to see what it was, what it has become and what it is now," Caprioglio said.
Caprioglio's views haven't changed.
The just publicly-released audit found issues with the Central Valley Community Sports Foundation's bookkeeping and accounting practices at Granite Park.
The auditor concluded "a lack of appropriate financial procedures and internal controls prevent the city from ensuring CVCSF's revenues and expenses from Granite Park are appropriately accounted for and properly managed."
In response to the audit, Frazier accepted the conclusion and withdrew the request for more money. In a statement to Action News, Frazier wrote in part,
"CVCSF is proud of our work to revitalize Granite Park into a state-of-the-art sports facility that has long been forgotten. We took over the park and turned it into a first-class public recreational facility that is used by thousands of residents each month - and at a fraction of the cost to taxpayers to operate and maintain."
Despite the audit, it appears nothing has changed yet. The city has a multi-year deal with Frazier to pay $150,000 a year to his non-profit organization.
The audit covered from 2016 until January of last year. Frazier has since submitted more current financial statements and offered to meet with the city auditors to develop the procedures, controls and reports they want to see.
The city still has a ten-year deal with Frazier to operate Granite Park, and they are paying the non-profit operation $150,000 a year.
In his letter to the city, Frazier asked the city to compare how much it costs him to operate the park versus how much it would cost the city.
Audit raises questions about bookkeeping practices at Granite Park
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