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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

New York Mills Union Free School District – Financial Management (2016M-107)


Released: June 24, 2016 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the District’s financial management practices for the period July 1, 2014 through November 30, 2015.

Background

The New York Mills Union Free School District is located in the Towns of Whitestown and New Hartford in Oneida County. The District, which operates one school with approximately 570 students, is governed by an elected seven-member Board of Education. Budgeted appropriations for the 2015-16 fiscal year were approximately $13.5 million.

Key Findings

  • The District appropriated an average of approximately $1.4 million in fund balance annually, which was not needed to fund operations due to operating surpluses, and consistently overestimated expenditures by almost $6.9 million (13.6 percent) over the last four years.
  • By maintaining excessive or unnecessary fund balance, the Board and District officials have withheld significant funds from productive use and levied property taxes that were higher than necessary.
  • District officials have not developed a multiyear operational plan.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop realistic estimates of expenditures and the use of fund balance in the annual budget.
  • Develop a plan to reduce the amount of unrestricted fund balance in a manner that benefits District residents.
  • Develop and adopt a multiyear financial plan for a three- to five-year period that addresses the District’s use of fund balance and any economic or environmental factors.

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