Harendra Singh, Oyster Bay's concessionaire at the town golf course, Tobay Beach and several other facilities, has fallen behind on his payments to the town, Supervisor John Venditto said Tuesday.
"He's lagging behind, but he has made significant payments toward arrears, and he's struggling mightily to stay with us," Venditto said at a town board meeting. "We hope that he could stay with us, but we just don't know the answer."
Venditto said he did not know how far behind Singh's companies were in their payments. And he declined to take questions after the meeting.
He was answering a question about Singh posed by Robert Freier, an executive recruiter from Woodbury and Democratic candidate for town board.
Companies controlled by Singh face multiple lawsuits from creditors alleging nonpayment.
The lawsuits and financial difficulties have raised questions about the town's exposure to financial risk and the viability of its summertime concessions.
Also at Tuesday's meeting, Massapequa resident Robert Ripp asked Venditto about loan guarantees in a financing agreement between the town, Singh and Madison National Bank. Ripp submitted to the board copies of town amendments and correspondence that detailed the arrangement; Venditto did not directly address the question.
"We'll have our attorneys go through it," Venditto said.
Town minutes show that on March 23, 2010, the board approved entering into a loan agreement at the behest of a lender so Singh's companies could obtain financing. The resolution said the global credit crisis had made it difficult for Singh to obtain financing and the concessionaire's bank had required the town to be a party to the loan agreement.
Documents provided by Ripp laid out a security agreement in which the town had effectively guaranteed a $1.5 million line of credit, until April 30, 2015, on behalf of a Singh company.
A spokeswoman for Bridgehampton National Bank, the successor to Madison National, declined to comment.
The town did not provide the documents to Newsday in response to a Freedom of Information Law request, and public information officers Tuesday did not respond to questions about why the documents had not been included.
A spokesman for State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said that while he could not comment specifically on Oyster Bay, the state constitution bars "towns, villages, counties, cities and school districts from loaning money or their credit to or in aid of private corporations."
A call to Bethpage-based Singh Hospitality Group was not returned.