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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Lyndonville Central School District – Financial Condition (2016M-143)


Released: July 15, 2016 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the District’s financial condition and budgeting practices for the period July 1, 2012 through February 24, 2016.

Background

The Lyndonville Central School District is located in the Towns of Carlton, Gaines, Ridgeway and Yates in Orleans County. The District, which operates one school with approximately 640 students, is governed by an elected seven-member Board of Education. Budgeted general fund appropriations for the 2015-16 fiscal year totaled $13.3 million.

Key Findings

  • District officials consistently overestimated appropriations in the general fund budget during the last three fiscal years, generating approximately $2.7 million in operating surpluses. The District used the operating surpluses to fund various reserves, which led to reserve balances increasing by more than $2.4 million (32 percent) since July 1, 2012. District officials appropriated reserves annually towards the ensuing year’s budget, none were used because of consistent year-end surpluses.
  • Most of the reserves with balances as of June 30, 2015 totaling more than $10.1 million were overfunded or unused by approximately $2.7 million and the District could not provide evidence of a documented plan for the future use of the capital reserves.
  • There is no evidence that debt reserve has ever been used towards debt service payments since the District first reported this reserve in its records in 2000.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop realistic estimates of appropriations and the use of fund balance and reserves in the annual budget.
  • Review all reserves at least annually, determine the amounts that are not necessary and reasonable, and develop a plan for using these amounts in a manner that benefits District residents and complies with statutory requirements.
  • Use debt reserve money to pay related debt service expenditures in compliance with statutory 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