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ORDA prepared to deal with proposed budget cuts

A spokesman for the state Olympic Regional Development Authority says the agency is prepared to deal with cuts proposed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his 2011-12 executive budget.

Jon Lundin is communications director at ORDA. He told WNBZ that ORDA will lose about $400,000 next year.

"The actual cut was 10 percent," he said. "Last year's appropriation was $4.6 million. We're currently looking at an appropriation for fiscal year 2011-12 of $4.1 million."

Lundin notes that ORDA's total budget comes in at about $30 million.

"It's a challenge," Lundin said. "We lost $2.1 million in this year's budget and it was a challenge. We knew it was coming. All of the agencies and authorities knew it was coming. But we also recognize that the state is facing tough financial times.

Unlike many state agencies, however, ORDA is able to offset cuts to state aid through increased revenue at its venues.

Ski centers like Whiteface Mountain and Gore Mountain are thriving this winter due to increased snowfall, Lundin says.

"Our goal is to make up the loss in aid through increasing revenues and decreasing expenses," he said. "If we're able to do that and have another banner year - like this past summer and this current winter - we'll be okay."

Cuomo turned in his budget proposal earlier this month. It's now up to the state Legislature to act on the substantial cuts the governor has proposed.

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