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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

St. Lawrence County – Financial Condition (2016M-173)


Released: June 24, 2016 -- [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, 2014 through September 30, 2015.

Background

St. Lawrence County is located in northern New York State and encompasses one city, 32 towns and 12 villages. The County, which has a population of approximately 112,000, is governed by an elected 15-member Board of Legislators. Budgeted appropriations for 2015 totaled approximately $226 million.

Key Findings

  • The general fund’s unassigned fund balance declined to a deficit of nearly $2.9 million as of the end of 2014.
  • The Board has not developed comprehensive multiyear financial or capital plans.
  • The County has not had sufficient cash to pay its bills and other obligations when due, resulting in issuing $10 million of revenue anticipation notes (RANs) in fiscal years 2013-15.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop a fund balance policy that establishes a reasonable amount of fund balance that the County should maintain.
  • Adopt comprehensive multiyear financial and capital plans to provide a framework for preparing future budgets and managing the financing of future capital needs.
  • Develop a plan for the repayment of RANs and for the long-term management of the County’s cash flow requirements.

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