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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

General Brown Central School District – Financial Condition (2014M-216)


Released: October 24, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the District’s financial condition for the period July 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014.

Background

The General Brown Central School District is located in the Towns of Brownville, Hounsfield, Lyme, Pamelia and Watertown and the City of Watertown in Jefferson County. The District, which is governed by an elected seven-member Board of Education, operates three schools with approximately 1,550 students. Budgeted appropriations for the 2014-15 fiscal year total approximately $21 million.

Key Findings

  • The Board has balanced recent budgets with appropriations of fund balance and reserves while limiting tax increases, resulting in a deficit unrestricted fund balance of $435,655 at the end of fiscal year 2012-13.
  • District expenditures, specifically those related to employee benefits, have increased by more than $1.2 million since the 2008-09 fiscal year, despite the elimination of 46 positions over the last four fiscal years.

Key Recommendations

  • Carefully consider the amount of available fund balance and reserves appropriated to fund future budgets and retain a reasonable amount of unrestricted fund balance.
  • Continue to explore and evaluate ways to cut costs and increase revenues.

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