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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Village of Bergen – Financial Condition (2012M-97)


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

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to assess the financial condition of the Village's general and sewer funds for the period June 1, 2006, to March 27, 2012.

Background

The Village of Bergen is located in Genesee County and has a population of approximately 1,200 residents. The Village is governed by four Trustees and a Mayor, which constitutes the elected Board of Trustees. The Village's adopted budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year totaled over $1.1 million.

Key Findings

  • The Board has accumulated a significant amount of surplus funds that could have been used to lessen the tax burden of Village residents. This significant accumulation of funds resulted from the practice of not using surplus funds as a financing source in the ensuing years' budgets. The Village used less of the surplus than budgeted. Therefore, fund balance was not reduced as much as budgeted. For example, for the sewer fund, the Board did not adopt a balanced budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year. Estimated revenues exceeded appropriations by $50,129. Furthermore, the Board did not appropriate any fund balance in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 fiscal years. As a result, surplus fund balance increased to 94 percent of the ensuing year's appropriations as of May 31, 2011.
  • The Board has not adopted a policy that addresses the maintenance of a reasonable amount of unexpended surplus funds or specifies how the Board expects to use the surplus.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt balanced budgets with realistic estimates for anticipated needs and based upon historical spending. Place funds accumulated for a particular purpose in appropriate reserves.
  • Adopt a policy and develop procedures that address the use of unexpended surplus funds.

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