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Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Village of Marathon – Financial Condition of the Water Fund and Selected Operations (2012M-79)


Released: November 30, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine if the Mayor and Board adequately managed certain Village affairs for the period June 1, 2010, to February 2, 2012.

Background

The Village of Marathon is located in the Town of Marathon in Cortland County, and has approximately 900 residents. The Village is governed by a Mayor and four Trustees who form the Village Board. The Village's annual budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year was $2.1 million.

Key Findings

  • The Mayor and Board did not adequately manage the financial condition of the water fund, which has led to a deficit fund balance of over $172,000 as of May 31, 2011. The Board caused this by adopting budgets that required unexpended surplus funds that were not available and by failing to control expenditures within budgeted amounts. If these practices were to continue, the financial condition of the Village will deteriorate. The Board has begun to address the financial condition of the water fund by increasing water rates and improving its procedures for adopting budgets.
  • The Mayor allowed the Clerk-Treasurer to perform almost all aspects of the disbursement process including recording disbursements, preparing disbursement checks, signing the checks, mailing the checks, producing reports for the Board and preparing bank reconciliations.
  • Village officials did not ensure that computerized data and assets were properly safeguarded.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt budgets using historical results and known current needs to develop estimates for revenues and appropriations.
  • Assign duties so that the Clerk-Treasurer does not perform all aspects of the cash disbursement process or implement mitigating controls.
  • Enforce and monitor the computer use policy and limit the number of users that have administrative access. Adopt a written disaster recovery plan.

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