Town of Shawangunk - Sewer District Charges (2018M-122)

Issued Date
November 22, 2019

[read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Town properly charged the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) for sewer services.

Key Findings

  • The Town:
    • Did not have a written agreement or basis for rates charged to DOCCS for sewer services.
    • Charged sewer district (District) users more than was necessary. District users, including outside users, paid $2.1 million more than the total expenditures. Charges to DOCCS alone exceeded expenditures by $1.4 million.
  • The District had an excessive fund balance of $4.4 million as of December 31, 2017 or a balance in excess of 844 percent of the District’s average annual expenditures.

Key Recommendations

  • Consult with the Town Attorney to determine whether a written agreement with DOCCS is necessary to clarify rates to be billed and protect District taxpayers.
  • Prepare an analysis annually to determine the appropriate rates to be charged to users based on annual expenses.

Town officials disagreed with certain aspects of our findings and recommendations, but indicated they planned to implement some of our recommendations. Appendix B includes our comments on the issues raised in the Town’s response letter.