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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

December 23, 2015

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Binghamton-Johnson City Joint Sewage Treatment Plant, Copenhagen Fire Department, Dansville Public Library, Greenlawn Water District, Lake George Fire Company, Shelter Rock Public Library District and the City of Utica.

“In today’s fiscal climate, budget transparency and accountability for our local communities is a top priority,” said DiNapoli. “By auditing municipal finances and operations, my office continues to provide taxpayers the assurance that their money is being spent appropriately and effectively.”

Binghamton-Johnson City Joint Sewage Treatment Plant – Sewage Operation Costs (Broome County)

The quality of the discharged treated flow does not meet the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) regular permitted thresholds and as a result, DEC issued a consent order requiring construction of a new facility with a completion deadline of April 2017. If the new facility is not completed by the deadline, DEC could levy fines of $50,000 plus a maximum of $1,000 per day until the construction is completed.

Copenhagen Fire Department – Controls Over Financial Activities (Lewis County)

The board has not adopted and enforced cash receipt and disbursement policies and procedures and has not provided adequate oversight of financial activities. As a result, the board is limited in its ability to monitor operations and ensure that department money is appropriately spent.

Dansville Public Library – Procurement (Steuben County)

The board did not adopt a procurement policy as required by law and no written procedures were in place to provide guidance to library staff when procuring goods and services. Library officials did not maintain a comprehensive inventory for all library assets.

Greenlawn Water District – Accounting Records (Suffolk County)

The business manager did not maintain complete, accurate and up-to-date accounting records, provide the board with adequate monthly financial reports or provide sufficient oversight of work performed by the district’s clerks.

Lake George Fire Company – Cash Receipts (Warren County)

The treasurer did not properly account for all collections or deposit all of them timely and intact. The treasurer also did not issue receipts for collections as required by the bylaws or maintain other adequate documentation of collections that were remitted.

Shelter Rock Public Library District – Bank Reconciliations (Nassau County)

Library officials have not adequately segregated duties related to the preparation and review of bank reconciliations. The board has not designated a board member or library official who is independent of the accounting functions to review bank reconciliations.

City of Utica – Parking Violation Enforcement and Collection (Oneida County)

The city council has not established sufficient policies for pursuing collection of parking violations after a violation is more than 10 days past due or set a benchmark for collection rates. As a result, fines are not being collected as efficiently and effectively as possible. Auditors project that if city officials improve collection efforts and raise the collection percentage to 85 percent, it could collect an additional $78,000 in parking violation revenue annually.