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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 Chateaugay – Long-Term Planning for Wind Power Revenues (2011M-290)


Released: March 9, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the Town’s long-term plan for wind power revenues for the period January 1, 2010, to August 31, 2011.

Background

The Town of Chateaugay is located in Franklin County. The Town Board, which is the legislative body of the Town, consists of the Town Supervisor and four council members. The Town’s budgeted appropriations for the 2011 fiscal year were approximately $1.7 million.

The Town has received $2,451,759 in wind power-related revenues during the period January 1, 2007, through August 31, 2011. The Town’s wind power revenues have resulted in a substantial reduction in property taxes and a growing fund balance. Further, wind power revenues have resulted in significant infrastructure improvements and the purchase of equipment that would have had to be funded by property taxes, or not completed.

Key Finding

  • The Board did not develop a comprehensive, multi-year financial and capital plan, nor did it have any other mechanism in place to adequately address the Town’s long-term operational and capital needs. Town officials told us that they have informally discussed the use of the wind power revenues but have not developed a formal long-term financial and capital plan.

Key Recommendation

  • Develop comprehensive multi-year financial and capital plans to provide a framework for future budgets, manage future capital needs, and determine the most prudent use of future wind power revenues.

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