New York State’s budget crisis is threatening to impair the re-enactment of the final battle of the French and Indian War on its 250th anniversary.
Organizers of the Founder’s Day Weekend commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the Battle of the Thousand Islands are worried that more than $80,000 designated by the New York legislature will not be forthcoming, according to a New York Times report.
The money was voted to re-enact the successful British siege of Fort de La Presentation, which opened the St. Lawrence River to the Royal Navy and led to the fall of Montreal and New France.
Organizers hope to attract 1,500 or so re-enactors – in the original battle, about 300 French soldiers held off 10,000 British troops for five days – and as many as 12,000 spectators on the weekend of July 16-18.
The French and Indian War was a profoundly important conflict, with implications well beyond America, where George Washington first saw combat.
“Winston Churchill called it the first world war,” the Times wrote. “The debts Britain incurred in prosecuting the war prompted the taxes that provoked the American Revolution. France’s hopes of getting even later by investing heavily in the American cause contributed to the French Revolution.”
Sean Kelleher, a spokesman for New York’s French and Indian War Commemoration Commission, said that while $83,000 had been appropriated by the Legislature for the event, that did not necessarily mean that the money would be forthcoming in the new fiscal year.
Lisa Willner, a spokeswoman for Empire State Development, the state business assistance agency, told the Times that the governor’s budget included ”significant reductions” in money for tourism. ”Without a state budget in place,” she added, ”it would be premature to discuss the allocation of these or any other funds.”
Ogdensburg, the Times reported, is accustomed to defeat: “The French lost the fort. The British occupied it until 1796, long after they lost the American Revolution, and then returned and seized the town in the War of 1812.”
”Sometimes we feel like the French and Canadians did during the French and Indian War — not enough support from the government,” said Barbara O’Keefe, the president of the Fort de La Presentation Association. ”But like the people of New France, we remain standing in the face of adversity.”
First National Bancshares, the troubled parent of First National Bank of the South, has defaulted on a heavily discounted loan to Nexity Bank, First National reported Tuesday.
Because the Spartanburg-based company failed to pay off the $3.5 million reduced-amount loan by a June 15 deadline, it is now in noncompliance with an amended agreement signed earlier this year.
As a result, Alabama-based Nexity can call in its promissory note, due and payable in full, but at this time has not elected to do so, First National stated. At present, the loan has an outstanding principal balance of approximately $9.6 million.
First National continues to have discussions with Nexity regarding another extension in which it would pay Nexity a discounted sum in full settlement of the loan, subject to regulatory approval and subject to First National’s ability to raise sufficient capital to enable it to make this payment.
However, there are no assurances that Nexity will agree to another extension, that First National will be able to obtain regulatory approval to pay the loan, or that First National will be able to raise the additional capital that would be necessary to make the payment, the company stated.
According to information filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, First National defaulted earlier this year and the companies entered into the modified agreement under which First National was to make a settlement payment of $3.5 million.
First National has lost nearly $94 million over the past nine quarters. Its stock is trading for less than 30 cents a share.
First National Bank of the South entered into a consent order with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency last year which, among other things, contained a requirement that it achieve and maintain minimum capital requirements that exceed the minimum regulatory capital ratios for “well capitalized” banks.
In November of 2009 the bank was notified by the OCC that it was significantly undercapitalized.
First National entered into an agreement with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond last summer which required it to obtain approval before taking certain actions, including paying dividends; directly or indirectly, incurring, increasing or guaranteeing any debt; and directly or indirectly, purchasing or redeeming any shares of our stock.
Also, First National’s independent registered public accounting firm stated in its March 9, 2010, report that the uncertainty raises substantial doubt about the company’s ability to “continue as a going concern.”