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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Lakeville No. 2 Fire District – Oversight of Financial Operations (2013M-25)


Released: May 17, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to assess the oversight of the District’s financial operations for the period January 1, 2011, to December 27, 2012.

Background

The Lakeville No. 2 Fire District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Livonia, in Livingston County, where it is located. The Board of Fire Commissioners comprises five elected members. The District’s budgeted appropriations for the 2013 fiscal year are $211,900.

Key Findings

District officials did not ensure that District funds were expended in the best interest of taxpayers or as permitted by statute.

  • District officials did not adequately plan or use a competitive process when procuring goods and services for the recent capital improvement project (CIP) with an estimated cost of $80,000. As a result, the District has spent $149,490 on the uncompleted CIP.
  • Services and materials totaling $41,790 were rendered by and paid to a construction company with close ties to the District.
  • Renovations to the truck bay for the exclusive use of the members and expenditures totaling $22,010 for a storage building on Department property were not permissible by law.
  • The Board entered into a poorly written memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Department, which has caused the District to operate outside its authority.

Key Recommendations

  • Properly plan any future capital projects to determine the estimated costs of the project, how the project will be financed, and that the project is permissible by law.
  • Ensure that District officials comply with all applicable laws as well as their own policies and procedures when procuring goods and services.
  • Ensure that the District is operating within its legal authority. Recover the cost of building the building on Department property or consider entering a lease for the use District’s property.
  • Properly negotiate future contracts and ensure that contracts contain clear contract language that thoroughly details all parties’ rights and responsibilities.

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