Port of Oswego explains its financial outlook

Jul 13, 2012

An audit of the Port of Oswego shows a loss of over a million dollars last year. But officials say that number is misleading and doesn't tell the whole story.

Thomas Schneider, President of Pathfinder Bank, and head of the Port of Oswego's auditing committee says people shouldn't be alarmed by the audit.

"The port is self-supporting, and is growing its revenue streams currently, and creating the economic activity that it was intended for," Schneider said.

Schneider and port Executive Director Johnathan Daniels stress that the loss is only on paper, and only because of complicated public accounting practices.

While flooding in spring 2011 weakened business, the port still brought in more than it spent operating the facility during its last fiscal year.

However, in the future, the port will have to replace some of its equipment and pay its worker's pensions. Accounting standards forced auditors to forecast and record those costs now, despite being several years away.

Schneider says that's what caused the on-paper loss, but he says the port itself is still profitable.

"The port certainly has the money to support itself on its own cash. So, it's economic value and its financial value is certainly distorted by the depreciation amount and post-retirement benefits," Schneider said.

Schneider also emphasized that the port has access to bank credit, which would not be the case if it were hemorrhaging money.