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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts


Wellsville Central School District – Financial Management (2017M-159)


Released: December 29, 2017 -- [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, 2013 through April 19, 2017.

Background

The Wellsville Central School District is located in the Towns of Alma, Andover, Independence, Scio, Wellsville and Willing in Allegany County. The District, which is governed by an elected seven-member Board of Education, operates two schools with approximately 1,300 students. General fund budgeted appropriations for the 2016-17 fiscal year totaled approximately $29 million.

Key Findings

  • Although the Board appropriated fund balance each year to help finance the budget, none of it was needed because the Board and District officials overestimated appropriations each year.
  • The District’s unrestricted fund balance has exceeded the statutory limit for the past three fiscal years by amounts ranging from $1.5 million to nearly $3 million.
  • District officials have allowed the unemployment reserve balance to accumulate to an excessive level and have not used funds from the retirement contribution reserve as budgeted.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that budgets include realistic estimates of revenues and appropriations to avoid levying property taxes at a level greater than needed and that estimates in the annual budget for the planned use of fund balance are accurate and reasonable.
  • Maintain unrestricted fund balance within the statutory limit, and develop a plan to reduce unrestricted fund balance in a manner that benefits District residents.
  • Ensure that reserve fund balances are maintained at reasonable levels and used as budgeted, and take appropriate action, in accordance with applicable statutes and Board policy, to reduce any reserves with excess funds.

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