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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Java – Water Accountability (2013M-338)


Released: February 7, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the Town’s water district operations for the period March 1, 2012 through October 17, 2013.

Background

The Town of Java is located in Wyoming County and has a population of 2,057. The Town is governed by an elected Town Board comprised of the Town Supervisor and four councilpersons. The District’s 2013 budget totals $28,919.

Key Findings

  • Town officials do not have written procedures for reconciling the water produced by the Town’s water system, as indicated by the master meter readings, with the water billed to the Town’s customers. Although the Superintendent prepared the Water Withdrawal Report Form to be submitted to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on an annual basis, he did not prepare formal reconciliations comparing the amount of water produced to the total amount metered and estimated amounts for authorized unbilled uses.
  • For the audit period, the Town could not account for 53 percent of the water produced. Using the rates paid by the Town customers and the 11.6 million gallons of unaccounted-for water in excess of the standard industry allowance, we estimate that the Town lost $23,327 in revenue if the unaccounted-for water was due to malfunctioning meters. Conversely, if the unaccounted-for water is due to leaks rather than malfunctioning meters, the Town is incurring excess costs for producing water. We estimate that it costs the Town $1.06 to produce 1,000 gallons of water. Therefore, it cost the Town $12,394 to produce the Town’s 11.6 million gallons of unaccounted-for water.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that the Superintendent develops procedures for periodically reconciling the amount of water produced with the amount billed.
  • Develop a plan to locate and repair leaks in the system. Ensure that Town officials review meter readings for reasonableness and periodically inspect meters for damage or tampering. Develop a meter calibration plan and work to develop a meter replacement plan taking into consideration the associated costs.

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