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Office of the State Comptroller - Local Government & School Accountability
Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Champlain – Financial Condition of Water and Sewer Districts and Improvement Areas (2012M-87)

Released: August 3, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]


Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to evaluate the financial condition of the Town's water and sewer funds for the period January 1, 2009, to December 31, 2011.

Background

The Town of Champlain is located in Clinton County and has approximately 5,750 residents. The Town Board is comprised of four elected council members and an elected Town Supervisor. The Town's adopted budget for the 2011 fiscal year totaled approximately $2.4 million.

Key Findings

  • The Board adopted budgets for the water and sewer districts and improvement areas that were not reasonable or structurally balanced. This resulted in annual operating deficits and accumulated deficit fund balances.
  • The lack of cash in two water districts and one sewer improvement area caused the Board to rely on informal advances that could not be traced to a particular fund due to the commingling of funds, to finance those operations.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt realistic water and sewer budget estimates for revenues and expenditures based on historical data, current trends and should also take into consideration future repairs and improvements for each district and improvement area.
  • Properly record all inter-fund advances in the accounting records, identifying the source and recipient funds. Properly authorize all inter-fund advances as required by GML Section 9-a and ensure that these advances are repaid within the same fiscal year, with appropriate interest if the funds have different tax bases.

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