Comptroller releases municipal audits

by– Temple Li

ALBANY – State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office completed the following audits:

Town of Deerpark – Budget Review (Orange County)
The significant revenue and expenditure projections in the preliminary budget are reasonable. However, the continued reliance on appropriated fund balance to fund town operations will eventually deplete fund balance and adversely affect the town’s financial condition. The town’s 2016 proposed budget complies with the property tax cap levy limit.

Town of East Hampton – Budget Review (Suffolk County)
The significant revenue and expenditure projections in the tentative budget are reasonable. The town’s 2016 tentative budget complies with the property tax cap levy limit.

Village of East Hampton – Information Technology (Suffolk County)
The board has not adopted written computer-related policies to address user access, remote access, password security and management, or data backups. Additionally, village officials improperly assigned administrative privileges, created generic user accounts and provided excessive access rights to the village’s financial and real property tax software.

Halfmoon Hillcrest Volunteer Fire Company – Financial Operations (Saratoga County)
The former treasurer did not maintain appropriate, accurate, complete or timely financial records and reports. The board did not perform an audit of the treasurer’s records for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 fiscal years until April 2014.

Jamison Road Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (Erie County)
The board generally did not provide adequate oversight of company financial activities to ensure that resources are safeguarded. The treasurer did not obtain board and membership approval for all bills before paying them and did not retain adequate supporting documentation to demonstrate that all purchases were for a valid company purpose.

City of Lockport – Budget Review (Niagara County)
The city has three different contracts with employee unions which have expired and has not included the potential financial impact of contract settlements in the proposed budget. The water rent revenue estimate could be overstated by approximately $400,000. The common council has indicated it will adopt a local law to override the tax levy limit in 2016.

Rockland County – Budget Review (B6-15-21)
The significant revenue and expenditure projections in the proposed budget are reasonable. However, the county will need to closely monitor revenue associated with the sale of real property and chargebacks to other local governments. If this revenue is not realized, officials will either have to find another revenue sources or reduce appropriations accordingly. The county’s proposed budget exceeds the tax levy limit. The Legislature must pass a local law overriding the tax levy limit before adopting the proposed budget.

City of Troy – Budget Review (Rensselaer County)
The proposed budget, while generally reasonable, needs improvement to make it a better tool for prudently managing the city’s resources. For example, the city’s proposed budget includes estimated revenues related to the sale of real property, franchise fees, sales tax and advanced life support charges which may not be realized. The city’s proposed real property tax levy is not in compliance with its tax levy limit and officials have not adopted a local law to override the limit.

Village of Victor – Financial Management (Ontario County)
The board needs to improve its oversight and management of the village’s budgeting and financial operations. The board has not adopted policies and procedures governing the budget process or a fund balance policy establishing the level of fund balance to maintain.