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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Saratoga County – Financial Condition (2013M-235)


Released: October 4, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the County’s financial condition for the period January 1, 2010, to May 31, 2013.

Background

Saratoga County covers an area of approximately 840 square miles and has a population of approximately 220,000. The County is governed by the Board of Supervisors which comprises 23 members, one of whom also serves as the Chairman of the Board. The County’s general fund appropriations for the 2013 fiscal year adopted budget are approximately $234 million, funded primarily by real property taxes, sales taxes and State and Federal aid. The County’s 2013 budget for Maplewood Manor Nursing Home is approximately $26 million, funded primarily by resident service revenue and interfund transfers from the general fund.

Key Finding

  • Even though the Board adopted realistic budgets, the general fund’s financial position and the fund used to account for the operations of Maplewood Manor (the County-run nursing home) have shown negative trends from 2010 through 2012. The negative financial trends realized by the County are a result of the operating deficits in Maplewood Manor caused by the increasing costs to run the facility. The total general fund balance decreased 41 percent, from $24.7 million at January 1, 2010, to $10.3 million at December 31, 2012 due, in part, to subsidizing Maplewood Manor. In fact, during this period, the general fund subsidized Maplewood Manor for a total of $13.7 million. While this decline in fund balance was planned by County officials to help keep property taxes down, it is important that County officials continue to monitor the general fund results of operations on a regular basis. Further, County officials have been closely monitoring Maplewood Manor’s results of operations, and the Maplewood Manor LDC is currently reviewing proposals for the sale of Maplewood Manor.

Key Recommendations

  • Continue to closely monitor the level of unexpended surplus funds in the general fund and continue to ensure that budgets are structurally balanced without depleting the unexpended surplus funds.
  • Continue to closely monitor results of operations at Maplewood Manor and be prepared to make decisions to minimize the impact of any potential negative financial occurrences.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236