Skip to Content

Login   Subscribe   Site Index   Contact Us   Google Translate™

NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Monroe – Water System Accountability and Electricity Cost Savings (2012M-227)


Released: February 15, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine if the Town could achieve cost savings or revenue enhancements in its water operations and reduce electricity costs for the period January 1, 2011 to January 31, 2012.

Background

The Town of Monroe is located in Orange County and has a population of approximately 39,900. The Town Board comprises four elected members and an elected Town Supervisor. The Town reported general fund expenditures of $4.9 million for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2011.

Key Findings

  • Town officials did not have written procedures for reconciling the water processed by its water system and purchased from the Village with the water billed to its customers. The Town could not account for 8,376,160 gallons, or about 25 percent of the water processed. We estimated that the Town lost $64,787 in water rent revenue from unbilled water if the lost water was due to malfunctioning meters and/or theft. Conversely, if the water lost was due to leaks, the Town incurred a loss of at least $57,000 to purchase 7.6 million gallons of unaccounted-for water.
  • The Town has not established written procedures that clearly define the process for issuing permits allowing property owners to connect to the water system. Consequently, property owners did not always apply for tapping permits. We calculated that the Town lost revenues of $30,550 as the result of not issuing tapping permits and collecting tapping fees.
  • Town officials did not seek competitive rates for electricity supply purchases or periodically review the rate they were paying with rates offered by other electricity suppliers. The Town could have saved as much as $4,035 had it contracted with the same energy supply company (ESCO) as the Village, or $2,548 using the Orange County ESCO.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop written procedures for determining water accountability that include periodic reconciliation of the water processed to total water consumed, and periodically compare customer water usage to industry standards.
  • Develop written procedures that clearly define the process for tapping permits.
  • Periodically conduct energy price comparisons and seek competitive quotes to ensure that the Town is purchasing needed electricity at the lowest price.

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