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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

High Falls Water District – Water Fees (2015M-153)


Released: November 13, 2015 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine internal controls over the District’s water fees for the period January 1, 2014 through April 20, 2015.

Background

The High Falls Water District, which is located in the Ulster County Towns of Marbletown and Rosendale, was created by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as a superfund site because the area was determined to have polluted ground water. The District is jointly supervised by the Town Boards of Marbletown and Rosendale and is advised by a Water District Commission composed of five Commissioners. Budgeted appropriations for 2015 total $173,089.

Key Findings

  • The water clerk manually enters readings from an electronic meter reader in the water billing system and generates bills without supervisory review.
  • The interest amount charged for late balances has not been approved by the Boards and was not charged in the billing quarter that unpaid balances were relevied.
  • The District did not reconcile the amount of water purchased from New York City to the amount it billed its customers.

Key Recommendations

  • Review the accuracy of the water clerk’s entries before bills are sent out.
  • Adopt a written policy establishing the penalty rate for late payments and a process for implementing the penalties.
  • Conduct a reconciliation of the amount of water purchased, used and billed to customers, and investigate any differences.

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