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Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Ridgeway – Water Districts and Improvement Areas Financial Condition (2012M-69)


Released: July 27, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to assess the financial condition of the Town's water districts and water improvement areas for the period January 1, 2008, to March 8, 2012.

Background

The Town of Ridgeway is located in Orleans County. An elected five-member Board is the legislative body responsible for overseeing the Town's operations and finances. The 2011 Town budget totaled approximately $2.13 million for all funds, including special districts.

Key Findings

  • The Board does not adopt individual budgets for each district or improvement area and the Supervisor does not account for each water district or improvement area separately. Collectively, their unexpended surplus funds have declined from $182,557 on December 31, 2007 to a deficit fund balance of $72,157 on December 31, 2011. This decline was caused by the use of fund balance as a funding source and a history of overspending appropriations.
  • Because separate records are not maintained for each water district or improvement area, it is likely that some water districts or improvement areas are subsidizing the shortfalls incurred by other districts or improvement areas.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt individual budgets for each of the Town's water districts and improvement areas. Analyze prior year's activity and separate each of the water districts and improvement areas to establish each entity's financial position.
  • Establish and maintain a separate set of accounting records for each water district and improvement area including cash, interfund receivables, interfund payables, and fund balance. Review the interfund loan balances and take appropriate action to ensure that they are properly repaid, with interest where applicable.

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